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The Energy Commission has urged importers of electrical appliances and renewable energy products to start complying with the newly passed Energy Efficiency Standards and Regulations.

Although the new law takes effect from November 2023, the commission said it is important that importers start bringing in products that meet the required standards established by it, so as to avoid being in breach of the rule. Doing this, the commission explains, will prevent a situation where retailers may be left with stocks that do not meet the requirements of the law.

The Energy Efficiency Standards and Regulation is part of efforts to prevent the country from becoming a dumping ground for some substandard electrical appliances, reduce electricity demand and cost, protect the environment and safeguard the health of citizens from air pollution caused by increased power generation. It is also to protect consumers from purchasing unsuitable appliances as well as paying unnecessarily high electricity bills.

Director of Renewable Energy, Energy Efficiency and Climate Change (REEECC) at the Energy Commission, Kofi A. Agyarko, admonished stakeholders to start using the new criteria to import to help sanitise the system, explaining that this will ensure that they do not have leftover products when the law eventually comes into effect later this year.

“The transition period ends at the start of November, so enforcement will kick in from November 2, 2023. But between now and then, we do not want them [importers] to place an order for appliances using the previous standards as the criteria, so that between now and then they will be able to dispose of what they have as we step into a new regime,” he said.

Mr. Agyarko said this during an engagement with stakeholders on the newly passed Energy Efficiency Standards and Regulations on used electrical appliances in Accra.

Responding to concerns raised earlier by some agitating retailers, he said: “It is not a matter of taking food off the table of people, but let us look at the large community, assessing the impact continuous indulgence will cause. Investors have a role to play to save the environment and the economy,” he said.

He highlighted that the decision will not only protect customers in general, but also importantly, the businesses because they would not have to invest in obsolete and substandard equipment which could have adverse impacts.

Sustainable development

He entreated the populace to consider the wider picture so that everyone can come to an understanding to assure sustainability.

“No investor will want to invest in an economy where used products outnumber new products. Even in terms of import and selling, no investor would want to do that; and that is not a sustainable way of developing the economy. Sustainably developing the economy requires improving social well-being. But will you describe what you see at Agbogbloshie as sustainable development?” he quizzed.

He added that the commission will continue to adopt alternative measures, such as town hall meetings, to intensify education to drive the fruition of the initiative.

“We may have to reconsider some of the strategies to become effective while ensuring that the exact consumer we seek to protect comes to terms with what we want to achieve,” he added.

Senior Officer, Energy Efficiency Regulation at the Commission, Kwasi Tamakloe, added that: “Going forward, a person who manufactures, imports, offers for sale, sells, stores, supplies, distributes, donates, or disposes of an appliance for use in the country shall ensure that each model of the appliance is registered with the commission and meets the Minimum Energy Performance Standard (MEPS), labelling, and information requirements”.

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