The Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) has rolled out the Minimum Energy Performance Standard (MEPS), to support energy efficiency in Nigeria for products like refrigerators and air-conditioners.According to the standards body, manufacturers, assemblers and importers have been given a grace period since last year to fade out existing products that do not meet the new standard.
The standard they explained is a set of specific minimum requirements for any air-conditioner and refrigerator to be allowed and sold in the country.
The Head, Lab Electrical and Electronics, Alewu Achemasaid, at an awareness programme that the organisation is set to hit the market to commence implementation and enforcement going forward and won’t want any company to be penalised.
According to him, the standard has been approved by the Standards Council and this gives them the mandate for enforcement.He noted that the performance standard concentrates more on assemblers and manufacturers of air-conditioners and refrigerators because most importers bring in products from countries that have already keyed into energy efficiency usage, hence such products are complaint to their own standards.
Responding to how the organisation seeks to tackle importers of used air-conditioners and refrigerators, he said, SON’s purview doesn’t cover that area and the organisation doesn’t have any power to implement such standard, adding that Nigerians should rather be educated to desist from purchase of such products because they are not efficient and that is why those developed countries push them into our market.
The standard, he added, was created by the SON technical committee in partnership with GIZ and the identification of such products would be through a five star label going forward.He added that processes have been put in place to check for compliance and fake products in the market.
However, Head, Technical Unit, National Center for Energy Efficiency Conservation, University of Lagos, Charles Eguma, who shared the view of most of the stakeholders, noted that SON should work strictly on the implementation of the standard, rather than focusing on awareness creation because it is disappointing if customers are in the know and implementation is not effective.
Eguma, added that the standard is in line with the global trend now, and for Nigeria, it would reduce the demand on the already insufficient national grid.He also said, it was unfortunate that people are ignorant of the environmental effects of such used products, saying “this performance standard if implemented well, would discourage purchase of second products.”He urged SON to partner with Nigeria Custom Service(NCS) and other stakeholders to find solutions to second-hand importation of these refrigerators and air-conditioners.