The International Energy Conservation Day is commemorated every December 14 to sensitise the public to utilise energy efficiently to reduce consumption and prevent energy loss.
The Day is also used to rally citizens to adopt practices that would prevent excessive and inefficient energy consumption.
Energy efficiency simply means using less energy to perform the same task – that is, eliminating energy waste.
According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), energy efficiency delivers more than 40 per cent of the reduction in energy-related greenhouse gas emissions over the next 20 years.
Since 2005, the Government through the Energy Commission (EC) has enacted policies and implemented programmes to ensure prudent energy consumption and protect the country’s energy resources.
Ghana is operating a mandatory Appliance Standards and Labelling regime under, which importers and retailers of Room Air Conditioners and Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFL) are required to import and sell only products that meet minimum efficiency and performance standards approved by the Ghana Standards Board.
The Energy Efficiency Standards and Labelling (Non-ducted Air Conditioners and Self Ballasted Fluorescent Lamps) Regulations, 2005 (LI1815) was passed to ensure that only appliances that meet minimum energy efficiency standards enter the Ghanaian market.
The law enjoins manufacturers who export to Ghana and retailers who sell in Ghana to display a label, which indicates the energy efficiency rating of the product before the first retail sale.
Currently, some appliances on the market, especially refrigerators and air-conditioners, have their ratings re-categorised from one-star to five-star — the most efficient.
In 2012, the Energy Commission introduced the Refrigerator Rebate and Exchange Scheme (RRES), which sought to ensure that Ghanaians replaced their old power-consuming refrigerators with new energy-efficient ones.
At the end of the scheme in 2016, the Commission said it had replaced about 10,000 used and inefficient refrigeration sets out of a target of 15,000.
In an interview with the Ghana News Agency, Madam Ethel Linda Mensah, Head of Public Affairs, Energy Commission, said the Commission had introduced energy efficiency mobile application (App) known as the Certified Appliance App to help consumers verify certified electrical appliances in the country.
She said the Commission had commenced collaborations with its stakeholders to intensify public education on energy conservation and urged the public to be measured in their energy consumption.
“You can turn off your fridge in the night and switch it on during the day. You must also iron in bulk and always put off your light when it is not in use,” she said.
In an interview with the GNA, Dr Philip Adom, an Energy Economist, said issues of energy conservation had not achieved the needed attention due to low awareness on the benefit of energy conservation.
“Though some effort has been made in terms of awareness, the centre of the message looks abstract to the people.
“We should break it down to a level where the people can directly relate to and appreciate the benefits,” he said.
Dr Adom said energy conservation policies introduced by the government must be long-term, adding that regulators must effectively implement existing policies and regulations and enforce the law to achieve the desired results.
“Anytime we have regulatory failures, it makes energy conservation difficult, “he said, adding “At the household level, we need to consider energy conservation as a household strategy.”
According to the IEA, global improvements in energy efficiency had been declining since 2015, with energy savings made from technical improvement declining by five per cent in 2019.
In its latest report, the IEA found that as a result of the crisis and continuing low energy prices, energy intensity improved by ‘only’ 0.8 per cent in 2020.