EELA join hands with U4E to tackle clean cooling challenges in East African Community and Southern African Development Community regions.

Thursday, 10 Dec 2020

The United Nations Environment Programme’s (UNEP) United for Efficiency (U4E) initiative, the East African Centre of Excellence for Renewable Energy and Efficiency (EACREEE) and SADC Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (SACREEE) are working together to support the harmonization of MEPS on room air conditioners and residential refrigerators (cooling products) in the East African Community (EAC) and Southern African Development Community (SADC) regions.

In this context, a market assessment has been conducted in the EAC and SADC regions to provide information about the different market dynamics and trends for cooling products. The market assessment outlines the findings to support policies that phase-out inefficient room air conditioners and residential refrigerators and phase-down the use of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) used as refrigerants which greatly affect the ozone layer. Based on the findings of the assessment and previous studies conducted by U4E and other stakeholders, a technical note has been drafted by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL), which includes recommendations for minimum energy performance standards (MEPS) and labels for both products. The project is supported with funding from Kigali Cooling Efficiency Program (K-CEP) and UK’s Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

Patrick Blake from UNEP’s U4E remarked about the project “U4E is very pleased to support the regional efforts on energy-efficient and climate friendly cooling products, which follows a similar path that the EELA project developed for lighting products. We estimate that implementing standards will by 2040 result in electricity savings equivalent to 5 large power plants, reduce electricity bills by over $1.1 billion annually and provide increased electrical grid stability.”

The workshop was organized on 1st December 2020 to present the key findings of the market assessment as well as the recommendations of the technical note and to solicit comments and input on both documents from key stakeholders and participants from EAC and SADC member states. Moreover, the workshop also discussed the next development process of the MEPS for the cooling products. UNEP-U4E, SACREEE and EACREEE activities on cooling products are conducted in coordination with the Energy Efficient Lighting and Appliances in Southern and Eastern Africa (EELA) project implemented by the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) on harmonizing energy efficient lighting policies and standards.

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