October 19, 2018. Bridgetown, Barbados. A Regional Energy Efficiency Labelling Scheme for select appliances is about to get underway in a few CARICOM pilot countries, and sensitisation efforts are set to kick off this month beginning in St. Lucia.
The Draft Energy Efficiency Standards for refrigerators and light bulbs, namely compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) and light emitting diodes (LEDs) are headed to the November CARICOM meeting of the Council for Trade and Economic Development (COTED) for approval, which will then empower countries in the region to begin weeding out those high energy consuming appliances from the market.
The standards will set a minimum performance level for the appliances to be considered energy efficient in the region, thereby allowing for a lessening of resources required for their functioning and eventually government spending on energy.
With the standards in place, a labelling scheme will allow consumers to better assess expected performance of the appliances and make better informed decisions on purchasing that can save them money in the long-term. The standards are being driven by the CARICOM Regional Organisation for Standards and Quality, which is a network of the 15 bureaux of standards in the Caribbean Community.
CROSQ’s Technical Officer for Communication and Information, Ms. Latoya Burnham noted that sensitisation efforts would begin on October 22 at the Saint Lucia Bureau of Standards, with other forums being held in November in Belize and Jamaica, which have also been identified as piloting countries.
“Although the labelling scheme, which essentially is the activation of these Regional Minimum Energy Performance Standards, begins in a few select countries, we fully expect that this programme will expand to encompass more CARICOM Member States. With the sensitisation sessions we will be talking to the stakeholders who will play an immediate role in the rolling out of the labelling scheme, which also includes a testing regime for the appliances in Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago, for which we have developed the standards.
“So the idea is to have the labels which inform consumers about what to look for in choosing appliances, and also have the testing infrastructure that will allow us to verify the information here in the region for ourselves as well. We expect there will be a lot of lessons to be learnt to successfully implement the scheme in these initial countries, but those best practices can then be of benefit to the rest of the region when others begin their own implementation.”
In each country there will be two sensitisation sessions targeting policy makers, regulators, importers and retailers of the appliances before the scheme is officially launched. Each country though would have already had its own opportunity to feed into the standards development process over the past year, as committees in CARICOM countries, led by the National Bureaux of Standards, would have spearheaded involvement in drafting the standards, including feedback from national stakeholders.
The sessions are part of the awareness under the Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (R3E) Project, a German government-funded initiative which has supported and assisted the development of the standards and testing infrastructure in energy.
“While this is the beginning of the work to implement standards and quality practices into the field of energy, it is not the end of what CROSQ is doing in this sector. There are more standards coming for air conditioners, and eventually solar photovoltaic panels and solar water heaters, and earlier this year the Council of Ministers approved an energy efficiency building code that, along with other regional partners, will be introduced gradually in the coming year,” said CEO of CROSQ, Mr. Deryck Omar.
The Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Project, dubbed R3E, is a collaboration of the CARICOM Regional Organisation for Standards & Quality (CROSQ), the Dominican Republic’s Institute for Quality (INDOCAL) and the German National Metrology Institute (PTB).
The project is funded by the Federal Republic of Germany, through the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy.
The aim of the project is to assist with the introduction of quality measures into the energy sector, in this case namely the establishment of an energy efficiency labelling scheme through the introduction of energy efficiency labelling standards as well as standards to govern the minimum energy performance expected of lights (CFLs and LEDs), refrigerators and air conditioners. Additionally, it will include the development and/or the strengthening of a testing scheme for these appliances, beginning in a few countries and eventually expanding across CARICOM.
The energy efficiency labelling standards which includes minimum energy performance standards have been developed and those for lights and refrigerators will shortly go before the CARICOM Council for Trade and Economic Development (COTED) for approval, following which the scheme will begin on a pilot basis. Testing centres to ensure the accuracy of information for the labels of these select appliances are being piloted in Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago.
To this end, the CROSQ, along with member organisations, namely the Saint Lucia Bureau of Standards; the Belize Bureau of Standards; the Bureau of Standards Jamaica and the Trinidad and Tobago Bureau of Standards will host a number of awareness activities aimed at sensitising the public about the soon to be introduced labelling scheme and testing infrastructure.