Following a REEEP-funded project that established a regional template for an appliance energy efficiency labelling Directive in the UEMOA countries of West Africa, the Commission has now allocated just under €1 million for labelling implementation at the Member State level.
The West African Economic and Monetary Union (known as UEMOA, derived from its French name, Union Economique et Monétaire Ouest Africaine) is an organisation of eight fast-growing West African states. Their pace of development means that these countries are facing electricity shortages. Energy efficiency (EE) offers an opportunity for cutting peak loads, and EE labelling for appliances specifically promotes the reduction of consumer energy demand.
A REEEP project in the 8th programme cycle funded the establishment of a framework for appliance labelling at the UEMOA regional level. With co-funding from the UEMOA and the Institut de la Francophonie pour le développement durable (IFDD), this initiative established a voluntary template labelling programme that individual countries could later start enact and begin to enforce.
As this project came to a successful close in Spring 2013, the UEMOA Commission adopted a four-part Regional Programme for Energy Savings which among other EE measures, allocates the equivalent of just under €1 million for implementing of national labelling systems based on the regional Directive.
The planned activities include:
- Establishing and leading networks of national experts who can translate the provisions of the regional Directive for implementation at the national level
- Training inspectors of trade, customs, importers and distributors on the legislated appliance labelling requirements, particularly for air conditioners, refrigerators and lighting
- Providing technical assistance for the selection of three testing laboratories in the region for appliances concerned
- Seeking additional funding for international and regional certified laboratories to equip and train staff dedicated to UEMOA
- Conducting national information and public awareness campaigns
- Evaluating the programme's impact in terms of economic benefits, financial, social and environmental issues and disseminating its results.
“This represents a major step forward for appliance energy efficiency in West Africa,” say Dr. M’Gbra N’Guessan, Vice President Africa at Econoler, “and REEEP funding was instrumental in getting the regional labelling scheme off the ground. It is gratifying to see UEMOA putting such a high priority on the actual implementation at the national level.”
“It’s no coincidence that REEEP is also supporting EE labelling for buildings in the UEMOA countries, and this contributes directly to another pillar of the new Regional Programme for Energy Savings,” says Dr. N’Guessan.
“This initiative is the latest of many successful REEEP-funded appliance labelling initiatives,” notes REEEP’s Director General Martin Hiller. “Appliance labelling is one of the most cost-effective regulatory tools that governments have for reducing consumer-led energy demand. We’ve supported labelling schemes at the regional level in Central America, the APEC countries and in the Pacific Island states, and at the national level in India and Ghana.”