NUKU’ALOFA-April 24: 5.05pm (R2R NEWS): Most of the Pacific Island Countries and Territories are flooded with sub-standard and inefficient household electrical appliances because there is no legal standard that warrants appliance importers to comply, a side meeting of the Energy Industry heard at the Tanoa Dateline International Hotel here in Nuku’alofa today.
Presenting on “Legislative Reforms for the Transformation of PICTs Energy Sectors – Energy Efficiency” at the Third Pacific Regional Energy and Transport Minister’s Meeting, the Energy Efficiency Advise at the Pacific Community (SPC), Ms Makereta Lomaloma said this was a concern that something that needs to be addressed.
And she warned that countries who do not adopt any legislation to address the situation will continue to suffer.
Ms Lomaloma said the presentation and proposal, which was later adopted at the meeting, hopes to provide progress, seek endorsement and support of the legislative reforms on the use of appliance performance standards and energy labelling that has commenced in some Pacific Island countries.
Only three regional countries have legislations on the minimum energy performance standards and energy labelling.
The three countries are Fiji, Tuvalu and Vanuatu.
Cook Islands, Kiribati, Samoa, Solomon Islands and Tonga have all developed their draft legislations and are at different stages of the legislation development process.
All the legislations are in line with New Zealand and Australian standards.
The Federated States of Micronesia, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Palau, and Papua New Guinea have not started any legislative processes on standards and labelling.
Ms Lomaloma asked the meeting to agree to hastening national processes for the adoption of legislation on minimum energy performance standards and energy labelling and to endorse the harmonisation approach for appliance performance standards and energy labelling for the region or subregion and direct SPC to assist other PICTs that are not currently involved to also have mandatory standards and labelling.
The meeting adopted the recommendations, which would now be presented at the Ministerial meeting here in Nuku’alofa on Wednesday.
Ms Lomaloma said that the Pacific Island Leaders had highlighted their support to meeting energy efficiency targets, including expanding the existing electrical appliance labeling and standards programme as a means of realising energy savings in PICTs during their 42nd meeting of Pacific Islands Forum Leaders in September 2011.
“During the second regional meeting of Pacific Ministers of Energy in April 2014 the Ministers agreed as high priority to strengthen efforts to maximise energy efficiency and conservation and support measures that increase efficiency and minimise losses in the supply side, and increase efficiency on the demand side,” she added.
She said the absence of appropriate legislations and regulations in the energy sectors is often regarded as a key barrier for the provision of energy services in PICTs.
There is the current Pacific Appliance Labelling and Standards (PALS) Programme, a regional program funded by the Australian Government, which has been assisting PICTs to develop legislations and regulations on the use of a harmonized mandatory performance standards and energy labelling of electrical appliances covering refrigerators, freezers, lights and air conditioning units.
Ms Lomaloma said adopting a harmonised appliance performance standard for the region or sub-region enhance the economy of scale of the region’s energy efficiency effort and support regional cooperation in terms of training, information exchange and border control cooperation.
“PICTs that will not adopt appliance standards risk being left behind to become a dumping ground for inferior inefficient appliances,” she warned.