By Lydia Kukua Asamoah/Julius K. Satsi
Accra, Dec. 22, GNA - The Millennium Development Authority (MiDA) has partnered with the Ghana Standards Authority (GSA) to roll out a project that seeks to promote the importation and use of energy efficiency appliances in the country over a five year period.
The MiDA has already signed an Implementing Entity Agreement with the GSA, which has the mandate to develop the standards in Ghana.
The “Energy Efficiency and Demand Side Management Project” forms part of the Ghana Power Compact II programme that required MiDA to develop and enforce a standards and labels programme for about 20 energy consuming products, including the upgrade of products with existing standards and labels.
Among the products categorised into lot one and two, are refrigerators, Air-conditioners, ceiling fans and regulators, television sets, satellite decoders and TV signal boxes, lighting, solar panels, batteries, inventers and electric motors.
Under the MiDA-GSA partnership, the former would assist the latter, to equip an office facility and build two test laboratories that would help in testing of electrical appliances purchased and used by the public.
The MiDA would also procure international standards for adoption by the GSA, directly from the International Standards Organisations, such as the international Electro-technical Commission, British Standards Institute, South African Bureau of Standards, and the American National Standards, among others.
Mr Martin Eson-Benjamin, Chief Executive Officer of MiDA said the Energy efficiency programme was part of the entire Compact programme being supported with a US498 million dollar support from the US government, “the special gift from the Obama government to support Ghana’s energy sector that suffered power outages during the ‘dumsor’ period”, and so Ghanaians needed to make good use of the funds to improve the sector for a sustainable economy.
He said Ghana’s support would add up to America’s assistance, to make a total of the 535 million dollars needed to run the full Ghana Power Compact for the five year period.
Mr Eson-Benjamin said energy efficiency and demand for power became the most important issue to Ghanaians and so out of the six projects that fell under the Compact, Energy Efficiency and Demand Side Management Project, being run with the GSA, aims at ensuring energy efficiency and conservation in the use of power.
He explained that the partnership had a budget of US5.5 million dollars which would help in developing an enforcement standards and label activity to enable the GSA, as a gatekeeper, to “watch over the things that come into the country”.
It would also involve the improvement of energy auditing, and that would help build national capacity in energy auditing through the establishment of training centres and implementing programmes for evaluating energy consumption, as well as promote education and public information about energy efficiency and conservation through behavioral change.
There is also the demand side management infrastructure activity, which would involve the undertaking of a pilot solar programme and getting the public to use solar systems for addressing the high lighting loads and also to install energy efficient street lighting to replace the existing high energy consuming ones.
He said through the partnership, MIDA and GSA would soon be gazzetting some upgraded and adopted standards that would be approved by Parliament.
Professor Alex Dodoo, Executive Director, GSA, said the partnership would help promote energy efficiency, sustainable for succeeding generations.
He said the GSA would play its role to ensure that the country rids itself off substandard gadgets to make Ghana one of the best performing MiDA countries, while ensuring that “we have world class solar panels, batteries, microwaves, washing machines, pre-paid meters, kettles, among others”.
Meanwhile, Mr Eson-Benjamin of the MiDA, Friday, led a team from his organisation to present office equipment including computers and accessories, printers, photocopiers and a projector to the GSA, as part of the partnership agreement.