Dr. Paul Angya ,acting DG of SON
The Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) has announced plans to begin enforcement on the use of energy saving appliances in the country, as part way of conserving its energy resources.
This is coming against the background of opinions that Nigeria needs to use only energy-equipment as a way of checking current wastage of scarce power resources.
The Head, Electrical and Engineering Department of the agency, Richard Adewunmi explained that even energy-endowed countries of the world are working towards reducing energy consumption, maintaining that Nigeria cannot afford to be left behind.
Adewunmi, who spoke during a technical committee meeting on standards and labels (MEPS) held under the auspices of the Nigerian Energy Support Programme (NESP) for air conditioners in Nigeria, stated that the technical meeting aimed to prepare what he calls a minimum energy consumption standards for electronic appliances.
It will form part of the agency’s SONCAP requirements when approved by the technical committee, he said adding, “When the standards are implemented, it will form part of our SONCAP requirement. The implication is that before any importer can bring in electronic appliances, he must conform to the minimum energy requirement of the standards.”
According to him, Nigeria is yet to generate up to 40 per cent of her energy needs, and for her 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 maximise its 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 is just 15 Watts,” he said.
Providing further background, he added, “Today, we are looking into air conditioners because we believe there should be a standard for air conditioners. We are also going to set a minimum energy performance standard. This means that any air conditioner coming into the country must meet minimum energy consumption requirements”.
He said from their investigations, most used consumes double the amount of energy consumption of normal ones, adding that this would not be so once the standards are approved.
He said if the minimum energy consumption standards is implemented, Nigerians would be able to achieve about 30 per cent reduction in energy consumption, saying that SON is aiming to save about 1800 kilowatts 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 within the next one year, when everybody would have gotten prepaid meters, Nigerians will be able to save a lot using efficient energy saving equipment,” he said.
Also speaking at the event, Head of Unit Energy Efficiency, NESP, Mr. Charles Diarra, said NESP 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 building of the programme, which will come after the approval of the standards,” he said.
He said in Nigeria, 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, air-conditioning 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 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 air conditioners, 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 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.