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The Eastern Caribbean Energy Labeling Project implements a campaign to raise awareness of energy efficiency

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

In an effort to protect consumers from wasting electricity and money through the use of inefficient appliances, the Eastern Caribbean Energy Labelling Project (ECELP) is broadcasting several clips in TV and radio stations in the Eastern Caribbean under the slogan “Energy Sense = Dollar Savings.“

The campaign targets appliance retailers as well as their customers. It heightens their awareness and knowledge of energy efficiency of electrical household appliances and lights as well as the labels that provide information about an appliance’s electricity consumption. Part of the activities is also an energy efficiency and quality testing programme, carried out by the Bureaux of Standards, and training for appliance retailers’ sales assistants so they can offer better advice to customers. The aim is to enable consumers to make informed purchase decisions, demand efficient products and ask for tips about the efficient use of the devices. That way, households can save significant amounts of energy and money.

Due to technological improvements many appliances manufactured recently consume significantly less energy compared to those produced some years ago. The potential energy savings with best available technologies compared to low-efficient products are as high as 70% to 80% for devices, such as A/Cs, TVs and lighting equipment. ECELP has calculated the potential savings for the St. Lucian economy if all existing refrigerators would be replaced by new, high-efficient models. The potential savings in the domestic electricity consumption are in the range of 10% to 17% annually. It would also mean reduced fuel imports, lower CO2 emissions and the possibility for the electric utility to defer investments in electricity generation capacity.

With the extraordinarily high electricity prices, the Eastern Caribbean is predestined for investments in energy efficiency. Electricity costs account for a significant percentage of households’ expenditures. Reducing electricity bills is important for households and for businesses to reduce their operation costs and become more competitive.

ECELP is a project of the OECS Secretariat with financing from the European Union and the German Government. It aims to remove barriers for the widespread use of energy-efficient household appliances and introduce energy efficiency standards and labelling schemes for selected electrical appliances.

To this end, ECELP works with several partners in the Eastern Caribbean: ECELP supports the national Bureaux of Standards to develop energy efficiency standards and labels for household appliances, to set up a testing programme for the energy efficiency of refrigerating devices and the quality of energy saving bulbs, and to offer training about energy efficiency labels for retailers of electrical appliances. ECELP works with the national Energy Departments to incorporate energy efficiency aspects in the policy, legislative and regulatory framework and suggests establishing fiscal incentives, such as VAT exemptions and reduced import duties for energy saving bulbs and energy-efficient appliances. ECELP also implements actions to raise the awareness of energy labels, energy-efficient appliances and lights among the populace of the Eastern Caribbean islands.

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By: Johanna Carstens, CREDP/ ECELP