New bill to enforce minimum energy performance standards

Dr. Ruth Nankabirwa, the Minister of Energy and Mineral Development revealed this on Thursday

Kampala, (UG): The Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development has said it has adjusted the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Bill that will be ready to be presented to Parliament soon.

The Ministry first drafted the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Bill in 2014 but it hit a snag after the Cabinet declined to endorse it citing numerous loopholes. The Bill seeks to regulate the efficient use of energy, including energy-efficiency standards and labelling for electric equipment in Uganda.

Dr. Ruth Nankabirwa, the Minister of Energy and Mineral Development revealed that the proposed law will mandate the Ministry and the Uganda National Bureau of Standards (UNBS) to issue product-specific minimum energy performance standards for the various sectors of the economy.

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Like it’s done in most countries of the world, Dr Nankabirwa explained that once the Bill is processed into law, it will empower the Ministry and UNBS to develop and publish technical standards to specify energy appliances to be sold on a market to safeguard consumers.

The Minister made the remarks while addressing journalists at the Uganda Media Centre on Thursday ahead of the 18th Annual Energy and Minerals Week scheduled between 13 – 18 October 2023 in Kampala. The Energy and Minerals Week, she says will help raise awareness about quality energy appliances that are cost-friendly and energy efficient.

The week-long Energy and Minerals Exhibition to be held under the theme; “Energy and Minerals for Sustainable Growth,” aims at providing a platform for the business community to showcase the technologies, products, and services within the energy, mineral, and petroleum sectors.

Established in 1989 under the Ministry of Trade, Industry, and Co-operatives, UNBS issued five product-specific minimum energy performance standards – MEPS in 2012 for lighting, refrigerators, freezers, motors, and air conditioners but there are no existing regulations to enforce and implement them.

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Different stakeholders are expected to dialogue with government officials in the energy and minerals sector on policy improvement, market development strategies, renewable energy, clean cooking technologies, and electric mobility among others to foster industrialization, job creation, and shared prosperity.

The United Nations – UN Sustainable Development Goals – SDG number 7 advocates for universal access to clean and affordable energy, which is key to the growth of agriculture, business, communications, education, healthcare, and transportation for all by 2030.

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