Stepping up the green game: Malaysia to impose Efficiency and Energy Conservation Act in 2014
In a couple of years, only equipment that meets the criteria of minimum energy performance can enter the Malaysian market, a practice not uncommon in Singapore, Thailand and China.
The Malaysian government will regulate the energy consumption performance of electrical appliances sold in the market after the enactment of the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Act by the end of 2014, said Energy, Green Technology and Water Minister Datuk Peter Chin Fah Kui. This follows research from the ministry and the Energy Commission who reviewed the energy consumption in standby mode in electrical appliances, especially TV sets, and found out that there was maximum energy consumption, ranging from 1W to 5W.
The government is thus actively promoting the importance of using energy-efficient electrical equipment to the public, and offering beneficial reasons for organisations to go green; for example, incentives will be offered to manufacturers if they manage to produce energy efficient products such as air conditioners, fans and refrigerators.
As an energy user, Malaysia is known to consume a lot. In 2008, each Malaysian used an average of 3,667kWh (kilowatt hours) of electricity, according to the World Bank. The Ministry of Energy, Green Technology and Water Malaysia (KeTTHA) has also revealed that Malaysia’s electricity consumption is expected to grow at an average rate of 3% to 4% annually until 2020.
Glaring environmental problems such as diminishing oil and gas reserves, and rising carbon dioxide emissions have also prompted KeTTHA to ban incandescent light bulbs by 2014; it is also a mandate that air-conditioners are to be set no lower than 24°C, starting with Government-owned buildings. Malaysia also encourages both individuals and companies to replace old appliances, as doing so is one of the most efficient measures to reduce electricity usage. Modern energy-efficient appliances use significantly less energy than older appliances; current energy-efficient ones such as ENERGY STAR-qualified refrigerators, for example, drain 40% less energy than conventional models did in 2001.
Through the extensive adoption of greener appliances, KeTTHA hopes it will help consumers reduce unnecessary costs and at the same time, GHG emissions.
Malaysia committed to conserve
In his 9th Malaysia Plan (2006-2010) speech, then Prime Minister Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi mentioned that adequate and quality energy supply is key to the nation’s development. “The public has to realise the value and scarcity of such resources. An energy conservation culture must be inculcated… (and) resources need to be prudently and carefully utilised.”
As such, the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Act 2014 is the government’s latest bid to introduce measures to reduce wastage by enhancing energy efficiency and increasing energy sufficiency. The Government is also committed to reduce dependence on petroleum products through the increased usage of alternative fuels such as biofuel and biodiesel, and renewable energy.
Singapore also in pursuit of energy efficiency
In a similar vein, Singapore will also introduce an Energy Conservation Act in 2013. Under the Act, minimum energy management requirements for large industrial energy users will be imposed. Companies that consume more than the equivalent of 15 GWh of energy every year will be required to appoint an energy manager, to track and report their energy use to the National Environment Agency (NEA), and to develop and submit improvement plans to make better their energy efficiency.
“International experience indicates that the implementation of energy management programmes in companies is one of the most cost-effective ways to improve energy efficiency, and companies can expect to reduce their energy consumption by at least 10 to 15%,” said Dr. Amy Khor, Minister of State for the Environment and Water Resources. “These energy management practices ought to be the norm for the companies, and in some countries like Japan, they have even mandated energy management practices for their companies.”