Production and distribution of energy is expensive, and this makes the overall product costly for both domestic, commercial, industrial and institutional users. It is imperative that energy purchased is channeled into productive use. Energy efficiency is vital in ensuring that avoidable energy losses during production of goods and services are as minimal as it can get. Through this, energy users have money to spare, which they can use to purchase other commodities, leading to increase in production and consumption in the economy.
The Energy Act 2019 gives EPRA the mandate to spearhead energy efficiency in the country. EPRA undertakes this duty via various tools which include development and enforcement of regulations, assistance in development of standards, codes, rules and guidelines, capacity building, technical support to state and non-state agencies and awareness creation to the public.
Currently, there are two regulatory tools used by EPRA to enforce energy efficiency. They include the Energy (Energy Management) Regulations 2012 and the Energy (Appliances’ Energy Performance and Labeling) Regulations 2016. The former provides for regulation of energy efficiency in designated industrial, institutional and commercial facilities while the latter calls for testing and labelling of specified appliances for minimum energy performance standards.
To achieve the ends of improving energy efficiency in designated facilities, EPRA licenses energy auditors and energy audit firms. The qualifications for this are stipulated in the Energy Management Regulations.
For appliance labelling, EPRA currently uses a 5 star labeling scheme where the highest performing appliance has 5 stars, while the lowest has 1 star. Customers can choose what to purchase, basing on this star labeling scheme. Minimum Energy Performance Standards (MEPS) are used to guide the testing and the labeling of the appliances. The standards are stipulated in the Appliance Energy Performance and Labelling Regulations, for each appliance. EPRA intends to add more appliances upon development of the specific MEPS, to ensure that citizens can only get access to quality products in terms of energy consumption.