The government is determined to reduce energy demand

11 years, 4 months ago - April 04, 2011
PM has introduced the Energy Efficiency Bill

The government is determined to reduce energy demand and improve the country’s energy security. And in a bid to meet this objective, the Deputy Prime Minister Dr Rashid Beebeejaun has introduced the Energy Efficiency Bill (EEB) in the National Assembly.

The bill will provide the framework for product labelling and importation of energy-efficient equipment. “Government will promote projects to achieve energy saving in the private and public sectors and create national awareness on energy conservation,” said Dr Beebeejaun.

The EEB is within the National Energy Strategy which has targeted that energy consumption should be reduced by 10% by 2025. 

Energy efficiency through reduction on the demand side, together with renewable energy, go hand-in-hand to form part of a sustainable energy policy.

“This policy aims at reducing CO2 emissions as well as our dependence on fossil fuels and it is of direct concern to each and every citizen of this country.

“Energy efficiency is defined as output over input. In brief: the use of less energy for the same output, that is achieving more with less. This is the essence of the whole philosophy of energy efficiency: to get more out of what you put in,” he said.

About consumption, Dr Beebeejaun pointed out that the EEB will also address the issue of consumption with emphasis on buildings in all sectors of the economy whether housing, offices, industrial or commercial buildings.

Over the past 10 years, electricity demand in Mauritius has grown by an average annual cumulative rate of around 5%.

The Central Electricity Board (CEB) forecasts that electricity generation requirements will increase by approximately 30% over the next 10 years, mainly due to the introduction of air conditioning and mechanical ventilation from commercial and residential buildings.

Electricity consumption in the domestic sector is 33% of total demand, while the commercial and industrial sectors respectively account for 34% and 31%. Dr Beebeejaun pointed out that capacity building should be high on the agenda in order to attain the objectives of the EEB. 

“The essence of it all is capacity building. If we do not build capacity, we are wasting our time introducing the bill in the House,” he said.

He said that a training programme for 50 energy auditors and five trainers of the Mauritius Institute of Training and Development (MITD) will be carried out in May by consultants from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

The Ministry of Energy and Public Utilities is currently holding discussions with the MITD for the organisation of energy auditing courses in the future. Dr Beebejaun also said that the bill is based on government’s endeavour to “promote a culture of energy efficiency and energy saving”.

Many businesses have now started to realise that there are economic benefits from investment in energy efficiency. “Nevertheless, we have a long way to go and regrettably among the many energy products and services, energy efficiency does not yet have the priority it deserves,” he pointed out.

Apart the enforcement of the bill, “awareness building and the sensitisation of stakeholders” should be high on the agenda. “A simple change in habits may reduce the electricity bill by up to 15%,” he said.

The transport sector, said Dr Beebeejaun, accounts for about 50% of the national energy imports. Efficiency and savings in that sector are already being addressed through the decongestion programme set up by the authorities.

The programme includes the construction of new roads and bypasses, the modernisation of the vehicle fitness centres and the introduction of the mass transit system, among other measures.

By Clifford Vellien


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