Energy efficiency through standards and labels programme

It is estimated that Kenyans spend an additional USD 50 to USD 100 on electricity every year because of the equipment and appliances that they use. While most consumers look at the initial purchase cost of the appliances, the long term cost not only has a direct economic cost, but also to the environment, through carbon emissions.

Lack of awareness and information regarding equipment performance and operating costs, inability to check the entrance of low-quality products by authority and lack of appropriate Energy Efficiency incentives and regulations, is what is hampering energy saving efforts. In addition, inefficient equipment and appliances consume more power than necessary thus exacerbating poverty by straining the country’s capacity to provide electricity.

To tackle this problem, Kenya now has mandatory, legally binding Minimum Energy Performance (MEP) Standards, targeting four electrical appliances (ACs, industrial motors, commercial display refrigerators and incandescent bulbs). UNDP in collaboration with the Ministry of Industrialization and Enterprise Development has embarked on a campaign dubbed “Nyota msema kweli” (the truth is in the stars). This is a program aimed at informing retailers and consumers of the need to improve energy efficiency in Residential, Commercial and Industrial Sectors. Through the Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS), the Government has approved and published Minimum Energy Performance Standards that all manufacturers have to adhere to. The consumers are therefore encouraged to look out for the stickers with the number of stars on the appliances – the more the stars, the more energy efficient it is. The standards targets a reduction of 1,413,000tons of CO2 emissions in addition to enhancing the country’s energy costs containment efforts.

The initial campaign seeks to remove barriers to rapid and widespread uptake of energy efficient motors in the industrial sector, refrigerators and air conditioners in the residential and commercial sector and lighting (bulbs) in the three sectors. It expects to transform the Kenyan electrical equipment and appliances market by providing information that assists consumers to make informed and rational decisions based on life cycle costs rather than initial investment cost of equipment and appliances. This will bring about significant improvement by phasing out inefficient electrical appliances and equipment from the market.

Through continuous Radio, TV and Print advertising, over 5million people have been reached with the messaging and consumers have shown interest in purchasing energy efficient appliances. The retailers are also ensuring that they get products that meet the standards.

This program will be moving the country towards utilization of energy-efficient appliances which will reduce capital investment in energy supply infrastructure, enhance national economic efficiency by reducing energy bills, enhance consumer wealth, strengthen competitive markets and meet climate change mitigation goals. The Standards and labeling Programme also helps reduce or eliminate dumping of substandard goods in their country.

The Standards and Labels Program is also working in collaboration with the Kenya Revenue Authority through the customs department will ensure that no substandard selected appliances are shipped into the country. A review of the Pre Shipment Inspection (PSI) framework has been reviewed and proposal made to incorporate standards and labels for imported appliances.

UNDP Around the world