By Naomi Uzor
AS Nigeria joins other nations in the use of energy efficient appliances, Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) has given February, 2018 as deadline for importation of fridges, and air conditioners among other products that are not energy efficient. The organisation also fixed 2019 for locally manufactured ones.
SON said the move is to ensure that insufficient quantum of electricity generation currently at 4,000 megawatts is judiciously applied. In a collaborative effort, the European Union (EU), German Corporation, SON, Ministry of Industry, Trade & Investment and Ministry of Power, Works and Housing have pledged to work from all fronts to adjust imported electrical products and local substitutes to a sustainable level of efficiency.
Director General, SON, Mr. Osita Aboloma, while speaking at the launch of the Nigeria Energy label in Lagos, said the concept would guide consumers’ choices in terms of energy conservation rating of appliances. For instance, identifying a less efficient brand of air conditioner is symbolised by one star while five stars indicate better efficient appliance. He warned that with the launch, label will be attached to all appliances with approved minimum energy performance, making it illegal to import any of the electrical products with less than a star.
Aboloma said: “We have designed a road map in conjunction with manufacturers for the implementation of the Minimum Energy Performance (MEP) and label. Enforcement of the label is scheduled to commence after 18 months for locally manufactured and 6 months for imported products beginning from today. This is to allow old stocks to be exhausted while importers of completely built units are to fully comply with the standard in six months.”
The benefits of the MEPs are numerous according to Aboloma who listed reduction in domestic energy consumption by up to 30 per cent of total energy demand and improved quality of appliance as potential advantages. He said the implication of the drive towards efficiency was that air conditioners and refrigerators would be restricted and by extension halt the application of greenhouse gas as refrigerant in both air conditioning and refrigerating.
Head of Programme, Nigerian Energy Support Programme (NESP), Ms Ina Hommers, in her response, said the rationale behind the 24.5 million euro energy efficiency project was to preserve the limited energy generated in the country. She stressed that Nigeria needs to advance technological-wise by allowing only products that comply with international standards for the consumption of her people.