Energy efficiency – a no-brainer? YES it is!

Another day at the Minister Meeting in New Caledonia. Wednesday 6 April 2011 presented the main day for the REEEP SEAP team in Noumea. In the morning, REEEP SEAP conducted its Regional Advisory Committee meeting, attended by many of our Advisors and other key stakeholders in the Pacific region. Policy development, project progress, REEEP SEAP’s future vision and the priorities for 2011 were discussed.

After the Advisory Committee meeting, REEEP organised a joint workshop with SPC and the Australian Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency on “Energy Efficiency: Standards and Labelling Programmes for the PICs” which was well attended and led to a fruitful discussion after the short presentations.

John Hayes MP, New Zealand Foreign Affairs and Trade – Pacific Affairs and Official Development Aid (ODA) addressed the attendees with opening remarks. He emphasised the importance of energy efficiency for the Pacific Island Countries and the benefits that the Minimum Energy Performance Standards (MEPS) combined with Labelling of appliances has had in New Zealand. Mr Hayes also highlighted that the Australian and New Zealand scheme would allow easy and cost effective adoption by the PICs that use the same electricity systems. The North Pacific could follow the Standards & Labelling (S&L) scheme that is in place in the United States.

Jena Wuu from REEEP’s International Secretariat kicked off with a presentation on global experiences in appliances S&L and REEEP experience in this field. She also disclosed REEEP’s future plans on implementing a “REEEP Programme on Appliance Market Transformation in the Pacific region”. The programme will build on progress to date and activities will be planned and implemented in close cooperation with SPC, ADB, the Australian Government (AusAID and DCCEE), the REEEP International Secretariat and other agencies involved.

Jena was followed by Tim Farrell, Australian Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency (DCCEE), who discussed the economic benefits of an S&L programme and administration of such a programme. Tim came up with a quick survey he had undertaken at a large white goods shop in Noumea the previous day and found one unlabelled fridge that according to Australian test data from failed in Australia. Interesting detail:
The Australian manufacturer of this fridge was obliged to contact all customers and offer to replace the fridge and offer financial compensation for the running costs. That’s what you get for incompliance…
The main conclusions were that:

  • Political commitment and careful planning is essential for successful implementation of S&L
  • Australia and New Zealand’s program can be adopted at relatively low cost and potentially supported through an integrated regional program
  • S&L could significantly reduce energy consumption of refrigeration, air conditioning and lighting
  • Once standards and labelling have been introduced in the PICs, Australia can share check-testing results.

Solomone Fifita, Deputy Director (Energy), SPC, acknowledged REEEP’s role on Energy Efficiency in the region and welcomed further collaboration in this field. The progress to date on S&L was outlined by Rupeni Mario from SPC who summarised the progress made in Samoa, Tonga and Vanuatu as part of the REEEP-SPC project.

The Government of Fiji has chosen to align its policies for one product group, domestic refrigeration equipment, with the Australasian MEPS model, which is projected to deliver significant benefits to the countries. Peceli Nakavulevu, Acting Director of Energy, Fiji Energy & Rural Electrification Department, gave the attendees an insight into the experiences Fiji has had with the implementation of the scheme. He encouraged other PICs to also implement an S&L programme and lower the energy usage, consequently lowering the costs of energy for consumers as well as increasing the energy security.

Nyk Kloulubak, Energy Planner within the Government of Palau shared Palau’s experiences with energy efficiency, in particular on REEEP-SPC’s energy auditing and awareness activities in Palau as well as the Energy Efficiency Subsidy Programme that the National Bank of Palau runs offering a subsidy to new home owners who install energy efficiency measures.

Finally, Angeline Heine from the Government of the Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI) commented on a project that RMI launched to educate its people towards a more energy efficient electricity consumption.

After the panellist contributions, a lively discussion took place and several PICs indicated their wish to explore the opportunities for their countries.

Consequently the significance of energy efficiency was clearly communicated during the Energy Ministerial Meeting on Wednesday afternoon where several country representatives stated the opportunities in end-use energy efficiency and especially with an S&L scheme in place.

So: Energy efficiency – a no-brainer? YES it is!

Appliance Labeling and Standards

If you want to read more on this topic, click here for the End-use Equipment Energy Efficiency Strategy for the Pacific region in which REEEP advocates that all PICs consider this model as the foundation for a regionally aligned strategy for end-use equipment energy efficiency. REEEP is not proposing PICs adopt all aspects of the Australasian model without modification, but rather that they select from the Australian scheme the more cost-effective and suitable measures for each individual PIC.

À plus tard de la Nouvelle-Calédonie – your REEEP SEAP team 🙂

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