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Roadmap for Harmonization of Energy Efficiency Standards in South Asia


The South Asia Regional Initiative for Energy (SARI/Energy) promotes mutually beneficial energy linkages among the nations of South Asia. SARI/Energy is sponsored by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). The objectives of the technical assistance component of the SARI/Energy program are to:

  • Assist the local standards institutions to understand the benefits from energy efficiency standards and labeling
  • Communicate the role and benefits from energy efficiency standards in competitive markets
  • Develop a mechanism and network for regional standards setting
  • Evaluate the benefits from regional testing facilities and recognize regional testing bodies for labeling to support energy efficiency standards; and
  • Establish a monitoring process to determine impacts

The South Asian Regional Initiative for Energy calls for a series of activities to promote Energy Efficiency Standards and Labeling (EES&L) of end-use appliances in the region. In pursuit of this goal, the project supports several seminars and meetings that bring together policymakers and stakeholders from throughout the region. The purpose of these gatherings is to encourage a dialogue among participants as to the benefits and barriers associated with EES&L programs. In addition, it is the role of the program organizers to provide participants with the technical details necessary to make progress towards effective efficiency programs.

One component of the initiative is to encourage the harmonization (alignment) of existing program components and the pursuit of new programs coordinated at the regional level. In support of this goal, the report provides information aimed at motivating and enabling cooperative activities that will provide concrete benefits to programs in each country, whether well developed, or still in the initial planning stage. This report supports the goals of the technical assistance effort in the development of mechanisms for harmonization of policy elements between the countries in the region.

It should be emphasized that the underlying objective of the harmonization component of the SARI/Energy project is to increase the potential for success of EES&L programs of all countries involved, and to reduce burdens on manufacturers, exporters, and importers in each country. Harmonization for its own sake is not desirable, nor is it suggested that policymakers should bring their programs in line with international norms if doing so would present a disadvantage to their own efficiency programs, or to commercial interests within their country. If there are no such disadvantages, the program encourages alignment of policies and provides a forum at which this alignment can be pursued.

This report is the product of one of a series of meetings organized as part of the SARI/Energy project that focused on Harmonization of Energy Efficiency Labeling and Standards Programs. The meeting, held in Chennai, India on September 4-5, 2003, was the second gathering of regional stakeholders and policymakers for the express purpose of discussing harmonization. This meeting tried to build on the progress made in the first and focused on concrete action items to be developed and discussed by all participants. Development of recommendations for action was pursued within an atmosphere of open moderated discussion, rather than in seminar form.

This report summarizes the outcome of these discussions, and it is also meant as a resource document facilitating steps toward development of EES&L programs in the region. A general introduction provides background for the discussions on harmonization, and it provides an outline of the strategy taken in organizing the meeting. This material is similar to that presented in a companion report "Opportunities for Regional Harmonization of Appliance Labeling and Standards Programs," although it is much abbreviated. In addition to general considerations of harmonization, it places the harmonization process in the specific context of the countries involved. Section Two presents the proceedings of the meeting. Section Three provides detailed technical information regarding one of the main issues discussed during the meeting, “ the comparison of Draft Refrigerator Test Procedures in Bangladesh, India, and Sri Lanka." This section is followed by a brief summary of recommendations. The final section is presented as a roadmap - it elaborates on the recommendations and considers immediate steps to be taken in the short term as well as the long-term goals.

Information from:  USAID South Asia Regional Initiative for Energy (SARI/Energy)