Regional Harmonization of Minimum Energy Performance Standards on Cooling Products in the EAC and SADC regions
Growing populations, urbanization, and rising living standards in the regions of the East African Community (EAC) and the Southern African Development Community (SADC) are driving an increased demand for cooling services. If policies are not implemented in response to this demand, the electricity consumption for room air conditioners and residential refrigerators is expected to increase by 2.5 times by 2040 compared to today in both regions.
The United Nations Environment Programme’s United for Efficiency initiative (UNEP U4E), East African Centre of Excellence for Renewable Energy and Efficiency (EACREEE) and the SADC Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (SACREEE) are working together to adopt sustainable cooling solutions without causing undue harm to the environment. This project is being implemented in cooperation with the EELA project.
The project aims to develop a policy framework for energy-efficient and climate friendly residential refrigerators and room air conditioners with the ultimate goal to develop Minimum Energy Performance Standards (MEPS) and labelling for both products. To recommend the more precise MEPS level, a market assessment has been concluded covering the 21 countries in the two regions. The market assessment revealed that currently less than half of the countries have put in place key policies that promote energy-efficient and climate-friendly cooling.
MEPS are one of the most effective measures to transition markets to energy efficient products, and the project aims to harvest those low-hanging fruits. Regional Technical Ccommittees have been established to support the development of the regionally harmonized MEPS.
Following the outcomes of the market assessment and the development of technical notes for both products, harmonized MEPS are being drafted and regional bodies as well as national key stakeholders will be consulted extensively to leverage the policy effects and to ensure that in-country experiences are properly represented.