SACREEE embarks on the journey to harmonise standards for lighting and appliances for the SADC Region

The Southern African Development Community (SADC) is severely suffering from low electricity access rates, where on the other hand highly inefficient and sometimes substandard high energy consuming appliances are used in households and businesses. Impacts on climate change continue to adversely affect the regions’ electricity generation. The region decided to take a step by introducing harmonised Minimum Energy Performance Standards (MEPS) for lighting and appliances to prevent low quality products from entering the markets or being produced in the regions.

The development of MEPS is supported by the Energy Efficient Lighting and appliances project in East and Southern Africa (EELA) which is funded by the Swedish Government and implemented by UNIDO in cooperation with EAC and SADC Secretariats as well as the SADC Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (SACREEE) and the East African Centre of Excellence for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (EACREEE). SACREEE and EACREEE are part of UNIDO´s Global Network of Regional Sustainable Energy Centres. In partnership with Member States and other regional players (e.g. utility organisations, regulatory authorities, banks), the centres work towards the creation of integrated and inclusive regional markets for sustainable energy products and services.

The Technical Committee for the SADC Region has been established within the framework of the SADC Southern Cooperation in Standardization (SADCSTAN). The objective and mandate of establishment of the Standards Technical Committees is to develop regionally harmonized Minimum Energy Performance Standards (MEPS) for lighting and appliances for both SADC and EAC regions and facilitate the adoption at national level.

The 1st Technical Committee Meeting on the development of MEPS for Lighting and Appliances for the SADC region was held on 27 November 2019 in Lusaka, Zambia and all 16 SADC Member States participated. The meeting was attended by the representatives from the Department of Energy and Standard Boards of the SADC Member States as well as regional organisations, international experts and development partners.  The participants demonstrated a strong commitment to support the process and work together towards a market for energy efficient lighting and appliances in SADC.

The EELA project is considered as a high impact addressing multiple Sustainable Development Goals such as Clean and Affordable Energy for All, Sustainable Cities, Sustainable Industrialisation, Responsible Production and Production, Private Sector Support, Climate Action, Poverty Eradication, Gender Inclusiveness, Health and Wellbeing as well as Job Creation.

The EELA project is going to bring a transparent, efficient and sustainable way of implementing the SADC directive to phase out inefficient lights, said Kudakwashe Ndhlukula, Executive Director of the SACREEE.

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