Joint Press Release: ASEAN and U.S. Promote Energy Efficiency for Everyday Appliances

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                                             ASEAN

Hanoi, December 15, 2010 – As homes in Southeast Asia become more dependent on electrical appliances and electronics, energy consumption increases. ASEAN’s per capita energy consumption is expected to double in the quarter century between 2005 and 2030, from 0.9 to 1.8 Tons of Oil Equivalent per person.

In response, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and the U.S. Department of Energy are working together to help energy regulators in ASEAN countries to establish energy efficiency standards and labeling programs: some of the most cost-effective and proven methods to curb rising energy demand from appliance use. These programs are designed to improve energy efficiency without degrading performance, quality and safety, and without increasing cost.

“Energy efficiency standards and labeling programs provide an enormous energy savings potential, said Tran Dong Phuong, Head of Infrastructure at the ASEAN Secretariat, at the opening of the ASEAN gathering on the subject. “We want to help direct energy regulators in ASEAN countries towards sustainable energy use.”

The U.S.-ASEAN Energy Efficiency Standards and Labeling Workshop, held 13-15 December 2010 in Hanoi, Vietnam, drew twenty regulators from across ASEAN. The training was funded by the U.S. Department of Energy as the first-ever event planned under a cooperation program between the Department and the ASEAN Senior Officials Meeting on Energy.

“We hope that ASEAN can use these tools to further develop, improve and effectively implement our energy efficiency programs. Proper labeling on electrical appliances benefits all parties involved. It gives the producer a comparative advantage and benefits the consumer by reducing the energy consumption cost to use these items” said Mr. Cao Quoc Hung, Director General, International Cooperation Department, Ministry of Industry and Trade of Vietnam.

U.S. experts from the Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and the USAID-supported Collaborative Labeling and Appliance Standards Program presented key tools that the regulators can use for the development of energy efficiency standards and labeling programs during the event. Among these tools was a data model that helps regulators calculate energy savings potential from a standards and labeling program, including comparative analysis across products.

“Improving the energy efficiency of key appliances and equipment in Southeast Asia would help relieve power shortages, reduce costs to residential consumers, reduce production costs for industry, and reduce the capital investments needed to meet growing power demand. Energy efficient appliances also help reduce the local pollutants and greenhouse gas emissions associated with power production,” said Dan Milstein, from the U.S. Department of Energy.

The ASEAN Plan of Action for Energy Cooperation 2010-2015 aims to reduce regional energy intensity, which is energy consumed per dollar of GDP, by at least 8% by 2015 over the 2005 level. Lower energy intensity indicates a lower price or cost of converting energy into GDP.

The workshop was organized by the U.S. Department of Energy and the ASEAN-U.S. Technical Assistance and Training Facility, a joint program of USAID and the U.S. Department of State, in collaboration with the ASEAN Secretariat and the Ministry of Industry and Trade of Vietnam.