Appliance Labeling, Standards Workshop Held In Kiribati

Pacific Islands Development Program, East-West Center With Support From Center for Pacific Islands Studies, University of Hawai‘i

News Release

Secretariat of the Pacific Community Suva, Fiji

Monday, June 10, 2013

The Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) Energy Program, in partnership with the Kiribati Ministry of Public Works and Utilities, organized a one-day workshop with key stakeholders in the energy sector to discuss draft legislation on performance standards and energy labels for electrical appliances.

The workshop, funded by SPC’s Pacific Appliance Labeling and Standards (PALS) program, was held on 22 May 2013 in Tarawa, Kiribati and brought together about 20 participants from government ministries, electrical appliance suppliers, and hoteliers to discuss issues that need to be reflected in the legislation.

Currently, there are no energy performance requirements for electrical appliances imported into Kiribati. This will soon change as the Kiribati Government has approved the development of legislation that sets energy performance standards and mandates energy labels on selected electrical appliances such as refrigerators, freezers, air conditioners and lights.

In her opening speech, Deputy Permanent Secretary for Public Works and Utilities Bintonga Even, acknowledged the support from the Australian Government and SPC in developing the legislation, which would enable the supply of more energy efficient products for the local market.

‘The Government of Kiribati in April 2012 made an ambitious energy target to reduce electricity generation through energy efficiency by 22 per cent by 2025. Establishing standards and labeling through collaborating with SPC’s PALS program is an important milestone in meeting this target,’ she said.

‘It is estimated that approximately 25 percent of Kiribati’s national import expenditure of US$90 million per year is attributed to purchasing of fuels for power generation and transportation. This illustrates the significant economic contribution of the energy sector to the trade deficit,’ she added.

SPC’s Energy Efficiency Adviser, Makereta Sauturaga, said that if the legislation is finalized this year, Kiribati will join Fiji as the first two Pacific Island countries (PICs) to have standards and labeling legislation.

‘The Governments of Samoa, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu have also endorsed standards and labeling of appliances and the drafting of legislation is about to commence. The expansion of the PALS program to several other PICs will create a platform for continued expansion in the Pacific region,’ she said.

‘The draft legislation will be widely discussed with stakeholders before it is submitted to the Ministry of Public Works and Utilities in Kiribati. It is hoped that the consultation will be completed and the draft legislation will go through the normal government processes and be ready for submission in the next parliament sitting in August 2013,’ she said.

The workshop participants were also introduced to Energy Smart calculators, which will assist consumers in considering the costs of running a fridge or freezer before purchasing the appliance.

Ms. Sauturaga, who also manages the PALS program, said that these developments are in line with Forum Leaders’ decision to promote energy efficiency in the Pacific region.

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