Vanuatu Plans Energy Efficiency Standards For Imports

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Appliances brought into country need to be efficient

PORT VILA, Vanuatu (Vanuatu Daily Post, May 14, 2014) – The Department of Energy of the Ministry of Climate Change and Natural Disasters, in partnership with the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) Energy Programme, organized a one-day consultation workshop with key stakeholders in the energy sector and discussed the second draft legislation on energy efficiency performance standards and energy labels for electrical appliances for Vanuatu.

The consultation workshop was held at the Meteo Office Conference Room on Monday last week (May 5) in Port Vila. The workshop informed stakeholders of the main issues addressed in the drafting and allows critical inputs for further amendments to the draft legislation. Twenty-five participants from Government Ministries, electrical appliance suppliers, Non-Government Organizations and hoteliers attended and provided useful suggestions to be incorporated in the drafting.

Currently, there are no energy performance requirements for electrical appliances imported into Vanuatu. This will soon change as the Vanuatu Government via the Council of Ministers’ decision on April 18 last year, approved the development of legislation to set Minimum Energy Performance Standards (MEPS) and mandates energy labels for electrical appliances for Vanuatu.

In the opening speech, the Director for Energy Department, Mr Jessie Benjamin, commended the Government of Vanuatu for recognizing Energy as an important driver for economic growth and improvement of the living standards for the people of Vanuatu. He stated that "The National Energy Road Map (NERM) for Vanuatu recently launched last month by the honorable Prime Minister, identified the enabling priority policies and required legislative underpinnings for the managed development of the energy sector which is a mainstay to the government vision of ‘…an educated, healthy and wealthy nation’. Establishing the MEPS and labeling for electrical appliances imported into the country is an important milestone in achieving this initiative."

This legislation for energy efficiency performance and labeling of electrical appliances is timely and first that will pave way for other institutional framework strengthening in the energy sector towards realizing the targets for energy efficiency initiatives set out in the NERM.

The setting up of required MEPS and Labeling for electrical appliances would enable the supply of more energy efficient products for the local market. MEPS will prevent the least energy efficient products from entering the country and energy labelling will allow buyers to seek out the most energy efficient products on the market. This will, in turn, reduce the high cost of electricity experienced by households and organizations as more and more appliances supplied and used will be energy efficient – let alone the reduction of fuel importations into the country as a result of reduced electricity consumption, leading to greater savings in Gross Domestic Products (GDP) from fuel importations and lowering of emissions in Carbon Monoxide gases.

The Energy Department projects a net savings to households of between 9,750 and 10,000 Vatu per year by 2020, rising to nearly 30,000 Vatu per year by 2028 from electricity cost savings as the result of enforcing the MEPS and Energy Labeling requirements for Vanuatu. Furthermore; a saving of about 3,030,000 litres per year in diesel fuel by 2020 and reduction in emissions of about 8,300 tonnes CO2-e per year by 2020 is estimated.

The Department of Energy, through the Pacific Appliance Labeling and Standards (PALS) Program, administers this project for Vanuatu with expert assistance from the SPC. The generous funding for it was provided by the Australian Government.

It is hoped that a third draft legislation will be completed soon and another stakeholders’ meeting will be convened to ensure a wider and informed incorporation of views. It is expected that the legislation will go through the normal government processes and be ready for submission in parliament before end of this year.

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