Newsletter Issue 11 November 2019

Project Manager’s Message

Welcome to the penultimate edition of S&L News for 2019 – a year where with your involvement and participation, the project has taken great strides forward. While we all have a lot to be proud of, there is still much to complete before the festive season begins; and even more to do in 2020. Here, I’d like to reemphasise what I stated in last month’s edition of this newsletter – that taking definitive action to reduce wasteful energy consumption and avert catastrophic climate change cannot be delayed.

“The moment we decide to fulfil something, we can do anything”, said the legendary global youth climate activist Greta Thunberg, in her address to the UK Houses of Parliament earlier this year.

I would indeed hope that this truly spurs our collective action in this project; because the alternative is heart-breaking. “You say you love your children above all else and yet you are stealing their future in front of their very eyes”, Thunberg stated at COP 24 a year ago. For many of us as adults and often as parents, it serves as a stark reminder that unless we are part of the solution, we are the problem.

I look forward to us all being part of the solution together, and to seeing many of you at the Revision of MEPS Industry Workshop in Sandton on the 14thof November. If you haven’t already, kindly register below. Thank you as always, for your efforts.

Theo Covary
S&L Project Manager

Strengthening of MEPS & Revising Energy Label

As already stated in previous communication, existing MEPS in South Africa were set during a stakeholder consultation process in 2011; eight years ago. Today, technological advancement makes these truly outdated, and their strengthening an urgent priority – particularly given the globally accepted benchmark for MEPS revision of every five years. At the same time, the strengthening of MEPS and the recent results of our in-depth consumer study (see story later in this issue), also point to the need to revise the existing EE label accordingly. This provides a seminal opportunity to update our current label in line with the strengthened MEPS, and to also incorporate interactive information tools for consumers, like QR codes.

Ultimately, strengthening of MEPS and revising the energy label, are two of the most significant developments in our project this year; and we look forward to introducing and discussing them with all relevant industry stakeholders at the Industry Workshop on 14 November. If you have not done so already; kindly register here and to view the draft agenda, click here.

Cutting-Edge Consumer Lighting Communications Campaign

As previously communicated, technology-neutral technical specifications for general service lamps, or more commonly, the ubiquitous household light bulb, were finalised recently; and the next step is to finalise the regulation for the Minister to consider and approve. To support this big step forward, a multiplatform video and infographic consumer awareness campaign was developed and rolled out. Now, this November and December will see these communications’ efforts redouble, with a powerful year-end marketing drive currently in its final planning phases.

Its objectives are to educate all South Africans about sustainable lighting and to increase awareness around key concepts like wattage and brightness. It aims to highlight how labelling assists with this; while also generating vibrant public participation through incentives and a competition – providing key statistical results for future use by the project. To view current consumer communications on lighting please click here and look out for details of the year-end drive in the December edition of S&L News.

S&L Consumer Study – Preliminary Findings

Preliminary results of the recent consumer study commissioned by the project are encouraging:

  • More, rather than less, consumers of large electrical appliances recognise the label; and most are motivated to buy as far away from the bottom of the energy scale as their budget allows.
  • Some will consider saving to invest in a higher rated appliance with long-term electricity and water savings; and evidence of this choice is now emerging in the lamp category, as more and more consumers see LED as cheaper in the long run.
  • Most often, once research participants understood the role of the energy label as an access point to information, their view shifted from seeing it as a mere signpost to considering it a useful tool.
  • The idea of accessing relevant model information via QR code, such as instructions, dimensions, features, energy rating, etc. also strongly resonated – appealing beyond just younger and tech-savvy consumers.
  • Initial reactions to preliminary infographic concepts instead of text only have also been positive; and the next stage of research will be looking at this more in-depth.

(More consumer insights will be shared in the following issue.)

SA Hosts First Ever IEA Energy Efficiency Training Week in Sub-Saharan Africa

The International Energy Agency held its first ever Training Week on energy efficiency for Sub-Saharan Africa in Pretoria during mid-October – bringing together 150 policymakers from 33 African countries, to share their experiences and equip them to further deliver effective energy-efficiency initiatives in their respective countries. Launched in 2015, the IEA Energy Efficiency in Emerging Economies Training Weeks have informed and inspired 1,500 next-generation energy-efficiency professionals from more than 120 countries – primarily from government institutions and their supporting organisations.

The training covered energy efficiency policy in five focus areas – Appliances and Equipment, Industry, Buildings, Cities, Indicators and Evaluation. Having attended the Appliances and Equipment stream, key members of our team found the training to be highly relevant and stimulating – strengthened by robust discussions and the views shared by the delegates from all over Africa.

If you have not done so already, subscribe to the monthly S&L News here and find past editions by clicking here.

“We already have all the facts and solutions. All we have to do is to wake up and change.”

– Greta Thunberg; TEDx Stockholm; December 2018