Energy Commission launches energy efficiency month

The Energy Commission on Thursday launched its annual energy efficiency month to sensitise Ghanaians on the benefits of efficient usage of energy resources as well as the threat of climate change.

Dr Alfred Ofosu Ahenkorah, Executive Secretary, Energy Commission (EC), at a press briefing in Accra, explained that it devoted the month of September every year to create the necessary awareness and sensitise the public on the efficient use of such resources including electricity and fuel, to help address socio-economic challenges or energy usage.

He indicated that unlike renewable, energy which could be replenished, natural energy resources were not finite and, therefore, it was imperative that their usage were critically and effectively managed.

Dr Ahenkorah said the event to be observed on the theme: “The Role of Standards and Labeling in the Promotion of Energy Efficiency,” would ensure enforcement of standards and labeling on three appliances, namely the Compact Fluorescent lamps (CFLs), air-conditioners and refrigerating appliances such as deep freezers and refrigerators.

He stressed that it was important for Ghanaian consumers to look out for the yellow labels affixed to manufactured products indicating their energy performance and efficiency in a way that allows for comparison between similar products.

Dr Ahenkorah advised consumers to shun the purchase of electrical or electronic appliances that did not bear the standard and labeling in conformity to Ghana’s standards which were either indicated by the alphabets “T’ for Tropical or ‘ST” for Sub-Tropical.

He explained that the Commission was also working towards ensuring a Legislative Instrument to finally ban the importation of second hand appliances including pressing irons, cookers, blenders and television sets that did not conform to the country’s energy standards.

Mr Kofi Wayo, member of the Board of Directors of the Energy Commission, launching activities for the month and a brochure on Energy Efficiency Tips, commended members of the Commission for their hard work over the years.

He said Ghana was the first country south of the Sahara to have mandatory application of standards and labeling, and commended the Commission for this monumental achievement.

Mr Wayo said the standards and labeling regime being pursued by Ghana would provide consumers with a choice in making informed purchase decisions.

He noted that consumers were often inclined to buy cheap products on the market, without considering their resultant burdens such as increased energy demands and the drain on their pockets.

“The Energy Commission as a regulator has the duty to enforce such standards and labeling to protect Ghanaians from such expensive ‘cheap buys’ at a limited cost and protect manufacturers of highly efficient products from producers who want to saturate the market with their expensive ‘cheap buys’, Mr Way said.

He enumerated benefits of standards and labeling as far as energy conservation was concerned, saying the switch from the use of incandescent to CFLs saved the country about $33 million annually.

“It is also estimated that the application of standards and labeling on refrigerating appliances as conceived by the Energy Commission can save the country over 100 million dollars annually,” he added.

Mr Wayo stated that the same standards and labeling regime extended to cover air-conditioners was saving the country about $52 million annually.

He said benefits of standards and labeling had direct impact on households and business energy bills, stressing that the reduction of power during peak periods as a result of the use of energy efficient appliances would improve grid reliability, afford better and more stable power to consumers.

Mr Wayo said global application of standards and labeling would reduce trade barriers, thereby reducing appliance prices to consumers and making energy services more affordable and local manufacturers might also benefit from a larger market for their products because they meet international standards.

He noted that it was the conviction of the EC that the introduction of standards and labeling combined with support for local manufacturers would reduce production cost to make them competitive.

Source: GNA

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