New formula in place to save $6 Billion

New formula in place to save $6 Billion

If the successful implementation of Minimum Energy Performance Standards (MEPS) and the Energy Efficiency Conservation Policy (EECP) can be achieved, an investment of $1 billion in energy-efficient technologies has the potential to yield benefits exceeding $6 billion. This information was presented during the 6th Islamabad Policy Exchange event hosted by PRIME (Policy Research Institute of Market Economy).

The event drew attendance from government and private sector policy practitioners. The discussion primarily centered around introducing EECP and MEPS in Pakistan, as presented by the National Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (NEECA). The Islamabad Policy Exchange serves as a platform for open policy discussions among stakeholders, conducted under Chatham House rules. Experts at the event informed the audience about the mechanics of these new policies, the necessary infrastructure to support them, and strategies for advocacy.

They emphasized the need to cultivate a culture of energy efficiency in Pakistan, whether through advertising or NEECA's policy initiatives. Furthermore, the experts highlighted the core objectives of MEPS and EECP:

1. Reducing energy inefficiency in both residential and commercial settings.

2. Mandating minimum energy performance standards for all industries.

3. Promoting energy audits to ensure provincial and local-level businesses operate efficiently.

These policies will be enforced across all provinces, with potential fines of up to Rs. 1 million to be determined by the Cabinet. The planning commission will oversee coordination with provincial and local governments in their respective regions.

The experts also pointed out challenges faced by NEECA in policy implementation, including a lack of testing facilities for technology efficacy and insufficient prioritization compared to other government projects.

Concerns about bureaucracy and red tape surrounding energy audits were raised, along with the need for greater awareness among businesses about the benefits of energy auditing. Industries fear penalties for non-compliance with MEPS and EECP, potentially leading to subsidy revocations.

Additionally, there is a general public mistrust of the government's ability to increase consumer savings through MEPS and EECP. Advocacy and promotion efforts are deemed essential to ensure compliance with these policies. Regarding energy auditing, firms have received incentives, including the first 100 energy audits being free.

NEECA can introduce special seals to signify energy-efficient appliances and equipment, guaranteeing their tested efficiency. Leveraging communities across Pakistan can help promote the concept of energy efficiency effectively.