New mandatory performance specifications to improve lighting efficiency for households on the cards
The National Regulator for Compulsory Specifications (NRCS) and the Department of Energy in collaboration with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), hosted a consultative industry information session with the lightening industry in Pretoria recently.
Attended by various stakeholders within the sector, the information session was aimed at informing the industry about plans to start regulating the safety, quality and energy performance of household lamps.
Existing regulations (VC 8043: incandescent lamps and VC 9091: compact fluorescent lamps) cover older products but rapid technological advances over the past few years has led to significantly more efficient lighting products being widely available across South Africa hence the proposed new regulations.
The session also –marked the first step in a formal process that will include a socio-economic impact assessment, risk assessment and stakeholder consultation. The planned regulations will take into consideration South Africa’s commitments in terms of the Minamata Convention and the phasing out of products containing mercury from the market.
Government’s objective is to protect consumers against poor quality products, reduce household electricity consumption, and importantly ensure products meet minimum safety requirements. In the past few years, the NRCS in conjunction with other government agencies at the ports of entry, removed and destroyed millions of non-compliant light bulbs worth 1.2 million from the market.
Recent months have seen significant global shifts towards phasing out more inefficient lighting products. South Africa has worked closely with international partners to compile a first draft of the minimum energy performance standards (MEPS), taking into consideration international best practices. This move is part of a broader collaboration on efficient appliances supported by the United Nations Development Programme.
The Department of Energy (DoE) in collaboration with the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), National Regulator for compulsory Specification (NRCS) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) is also implementing a project called ‘Market Transformation through the introduction of energy efficiency standards and the labelling of household appliances in South Africa.
The main objective is to remove inefficient electronic appliances from the South African market and encouraging the adoption of efficient technologies through enforcement of minimum energy performance standards (MEPS), labelling and incentive programs which will eventually lead to significant reduction of electricity consumption and the carbon footprint in South African households.