GIS - September 24, 2012: It is imperative to inculcate a new culture of energy savings and teach good practices to children at a very young age so that they become responsible citizens in energy efficiency. The Acting Minister of Energy and Public Utilities, Mrs Sheilabai Bapoo, was speaking this morning at the MITD House in Phoenix at the launching ceremony of an Energy Efficiency Awareness Week.
In this era of uncertainty where prices of fossil fuels are volatile, the Minister underlined the need to decrease dependency on fossil fuels and strive to develop a culture of energy savings. Through low cost actions, waste minimization, good housekeeping and systematic planning, everyone can save energy at home, in the workplace and in the transport sector, she said.
In a bid to give a boost to the operationalisation of the Energy Efficiency Management Office (EEMO) and enlist the services of an expert, the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Energy and Public Utilities, Dr Rashid Beebeejaun, will proceed to India early October and meet the Indian Home Minister, Mr Sushil Kumar Shinde.
For his part, the chairperson of the Energy Efficiency Committee (EEC), Dr Khalil Elahee, pointed out that Mauritius can save more than Rs 1 billion per year if energy efficiency measures are adopted. A sum of Rs 100 is spent per day per person in terms of import fuel costs, which represents a heavy burden on the budget and in terms of environmental degradation. One of the key solutions, according to Dr Elahee, is to go for energy efficiency, achieve more with less energy and ensure a better and effective management of resources.
During a presentation on ‘A first step towards the enforcement of labels and standards for appliances’, Prof. K. M. S Soyjaudah from EEC recalled that currently there are no efficiency standards and no energy labeling requirements in Mauritius. It is therefore imperative to develop a standards and labeling scheme for domestic appliances, he said.
Inefficient appliances contribute to higher electric load growth and increased carbon dioxide emissions. There is need to raise awareness on the fact that many electrical appliances may be cheap but not energy efficient. According to him, time has come to implement efficiency labels on a voluntary basis and subsequently make it mandatory.
“The development of energy efficiency appliance standards and labeling programmes represents an unparalleled means for countries to reduce their energy demand and mitigate emissions of greenhouse gases and other pollutants”, said Prof Soyjaudah.
Energy labels are informative stickers affixed to manufactured products to provide consumers with the data necessary for making informed decisions. In the world, more than 50 countries are implementing the standards and labeling programme, with regard to air conditioners, dishwashers, freezers, refrigerators, ovens, clothes washers and dryers, amongst others.
The benefits of a standards and labeling programme comprise a reduction of the energy consumption of appliances, equipment and lighting and generation of lesser carbon dioxide.
Energy Efficiency Awareness Week
The National Energy Efficiency Awareness Week is being organised by the EEMO from 24 to 30 September with a view to fostering greater awareness of the environmental and economic benefits of improved energy efficiency in Mauritius.
The objective is to highlight the potential of energy efficiency in the domestic, industrial, building, transport and services sectors in view of sensitizing stakeholders and creating a synergy around the management of energy. The motto of the Week is More with Less Energy. Improving energy efficiency in homes, transport, businesses, and industries eliminates wasteful uses of energy and yields significant and sustained economic and environmental benefits.