Energy efficiency of household appliances: policies and tendencies in standards and labeling
June 18-19, 2015, Almaty hosted a regional seminar on Assessment of the energy efficiency of household appliances in Central Asia and Policies and tendencies in standards and energy labeling, organized by the United Nations Environmental Program (UNEP) and the Regional Environmental Centre for Central Asia (CAREC).
The seminar was attended by over 35 participants, carrying out their activities in the field of energy efficiency and conservation, as well as standardization, metrology and certification in the countries of Central Asia. The first day was devoted to a review of relevant policies and laws of the countries, and to presentation of preliminary results of a regional study to assess the level of energy efficiency of the most common electrical appliances in the region. On the second day participants had the opportunity to study relevant experience of the partners from China, Russia, Thailand, as well as international organizations, particularly the International Institute for Energy Saving and UNDP.
Opening remarks were made by Ms. Gulnaz Halykova on behalf of the Ministry of Investments and Development of the Republic of Kazakhstan, and Ms. Maria Semenova, on behalf of UNEP's Regional Office in the Asia-Pacific region. Dr. Iskandar Abdullayev addressed at the seminar on behalf of CAREC. All stressed the importance and timeliness of the theme of energy efficiency and low-carbon development, and noted the importance of issues related to the development of policies aimed at improving energy efficiency through the implementation of relevant electrical standards and labels.
Household appliances are one of the fastest growing segments of energy consumption in the world, and take an even greater share in the structure of electricity consumption by households. Moreover, this is the segment where efficient technologies are already widely used and supported by international, regional and national standards and proven test methods.
As noted by the participants, the countries of Central Asia have established a common legal framework that encourages actions to realize the potential of energy efficiency in the electrical appliances segment, and the plans were formulated for implementation of the programs for labeling and standardization. But this work has to be continued with establishing of the regulatory and technical frameworks for specific problems in the implementation of these programs and to ensure control over their execution. In this regard, the need for further analysis, including assessment of the costs and benefits of the introduction of energy efficiency standards and labels, and assessment of the social burden due to the implementation of these programs, as well as assessment of existing institutional capacity and the technical base of the ministries, departments and testing laboratories.
Participants stressed the importance of an integrated approach to problem solving to reduce electrical energy consumption by the household appliances, as well as the involvement of all key stakeholders, including business and public campaigns to raise awareness, producers and sellers. There was also a potential role of regional cooperation featured, to optimize the countries efforts by means of standards harmonization, labeling and test methods, and joining efforts to establish a regional system for compliance.