The Standards Organisation of Nigeria ( SON) has stated that in a bid to optimise the use of the scarce municipal power supply and to prevent wastage, it would begin strict enforcement to ensure the use of only efficient energy appliances in the country.
The Head, Electrical and Engineering Department, SON, Mr. Richards Adewunmi, said most developed nations of the world have continued to seek ways to reduce energy consumption using cost effective energy appliances, noting that Nigeria should not be left out in the global trend.
Adewunmi during a technical committee meeting on standards and labels (MEPS) for airconditioner in Nigeria on the Nigerian Energy Support Programme (NESP), said the cost of generating electricity is very expensive, maintaining that the use of efficient energy saving appliances and renewable energy solutions will help divert the cost of generating power supply in the country for other pressing national needs.
He stated that the technical meeting aimed to prepare a minimum energy consumption standards for electronic appliances, will form part of the agency’s SONCAP requirements when approved by the technical committee.
In his words, “When the standards are implemented, it will form part of our SONCAP requirement, before any importer can bring in electronic appliances, they must conform to the minimum energy requirement of the standards.”
According to him, Nigeria is yet to generate up to 40 per cent of its energy needs, saying that for Nigeria to migrate to renewable energy, Nigerians must minimise the usage.
“Renewable energy as we all know is not cheap, if we want to migrate to renewable energy, we need to ensure that people that consumes the energy, minimises the usage. We identified several electrical appliances that are frequently used in the household and we decided to start with lamps. Previously, you need a 60 Watts lamp to lighten your house, but now what is needed now is just 15 Watts,” he said.
He added that, “Today, we are looking into airconditioners because we beleieve there should be a standard for airconditioners. We are also going to set a minimum energy performance standard. This means that if any refrigerator or airconditioner is coming into the country, there must be a minimum energy consumption for that airconditioner to be allowed in Nigeria. We have found out that most of these used airconditioners consumes double of what an efficient airconditioner will consume. So once the standards are approved, the implementation commences. So if you are importing any electronic appliances into Nigeria, it must be in compliance with the mimimum energy consumption we have set.”
He said if the minimum energy consumption standards is implemented, Nigerians will be able to achieve about 30 per cent reduction in energy consumption, saying that SON is aiming to save about 1800 kilowats a month.
”This is huge energy saving. Presently, we are not generating up to 40 per cent of the energy use in Nigeria.I want to advise Nigerians that when they are buying appliances, the first thing to look out for is the energy saving appliance equipment because they save a lot of cost, I am sure with the next one year, when everybody would have gotten prepaid meters, Nigerians will be able to save a lot using effeiennt energy saving equipment,” he said.
Also speaking at the event, Head of Unit Energy Efficiency, NESP, Mr. Charles Diarra, said in its energy efficiency survey, reveals that about 50 per cent of electronic appliances coming into West Africa, comes into the sub-region through Nigeria, stating the need to formulate standards in Nigeria.
”So if we are able to have a sustainable standards for Nigeria, it is going to be useful not only for Nigeria, but also for the sub region. This is like an awareness creation programme for people to know about the standards and we also have some capacity buidling of the programme, which will come after the approval of the standards,” he said.
He said in Niigeria, the energy efficient unit is one of the components of the Nigeria Energy Support Programme (NESP), a programme funded by the European Union and the German government while GIZ is implementing the programme on behalf of the European Union in collaboration with federal ministry of power, works and housing.
“ We are implementing the four units. In our first unit, we advise the government in formulating policies for the integration of renewable energy in order to promote sustainable energy, the second component is the energy efficiency unit for which we are here, we are also working on household appliances to see how we can contribute to reduce the energy demands through efficient household appliances and more particularly, airconditioning unit. unit,” he said.
Fellow of the Nigerian Institute of Engineers, Engineer Afolabi Esan, said Nigerians should be paying less for the equipment they will be using, adding that buying an inefficient equipment and with the trend in the nation’s metering system, Nigerians will have to be paying more for the energy they consume
“If we have efficient airconditioners, this means we will be using less power and we will have more money in our pocket,” he said.
He said there is a need for Nigeria to decentralise power , commending the the federal government for taking steps to ensure renewable energy systems are deployed.
“Renewable energies can be used where it is being generated and does not need to be transmitted. One of the challenges we have in this country is the transmission systems, we have available generation capacity but the bottleneck is the transmission network because the energy is not getting down to the distribution network, but if you have renewable energy anywhere, you develop it, you do not need to transmit,” he said.