In October 2022, Tunisia moved closer to establishing minimum energy performance standards (MEPS) and labels for energy efficient lighting through a workshop and series of meetings convened by ANME, the Tunisian National Agency for Energy Management, and the United Nations Environment Programme’s United for Efficiency (UNEP-U4E) initiative as part of the Leapfrogging Tunisia’s Lighting Market to High Efficiency Technologies project.
This project, funded by the Global Environment Facility (GEF), is designed to promote the rapid transformation of the Tunisian market to higher performance energy-efficient lighting technologies and thereby significantly reduce electrical demand and consumption and related greenhouse gas and air pollution emissions.
The workshop was designed to update key Government stakeholders on the status of the project and officially present UNEP-U4E’s MEPS and labels proposal. The workshop included representatives from the Ministry of Industry, Mines and Energy, Ministry of Environment, Ministry of Trade and Export Development, Tunisian Customs and CETIME, the Technical Centre for Mechanical and Electrical Industries, local lighting manufacturer representatives along with ANME.
The workshop provided the context for the MEPS and labels and a forum for detailed discussion of the proposed levels for residential, street/outdoor and the tertiary sector lighting in Tunisia, in line with current international norms. This included presentation of the results of the market research undertaken as part of the project to ensure full understanding of the current Tunisian lighting market. The results were used to establish the baseline for measuring the impact of the proposed regulations and the expected savings and benefits from the transition to more energy efficiency lighting that will result from implementation of the new regulations. The MEPS and labels proposal includes the definition of key parameters for luminaires, on aspects such as energy efficacy, durability, quality of colour, operability, and health.
Mr. Bruno Lafitte, one of UNEP-U4E’s lighting technical experts, outlined the proposed MEPS and label levels and highlighted that the measures could:
- Halve electricity consumption for domestic lighting by 2050 compared to the current trend scenario which predicts consumption of 498 GWh.
- Reduce energy consumption for street lighting by 50 – 60% by replacing high pressure sodium lamps with LED lamps.
- Save 46% of electricity consumed in the commercial sector, rising to 62% if control measures such as presence and daylight sensors are also implemented.
Following the workshop, members of the project team and UNEP-U4E’s lighting technical experts, visited four of the main Tunisian lighting manufacturers to share details of the proposed MEPS and labels, gather their feedback, and to understand their ability to meet the proposed levels and to expand production to meet the expected increase in demand for LED lighting products over the coming decades. All the manufacturers visited have LED manufacturing capability, and three have already moved into LED source manufacture with considerable investment in surface mount technology (SMT) lines. They all have excess capacity but are reluctant to expand further without properly controlled regulation of the industry and effective import controls as well as effective regional harmonisation efforts particularly with neighbouring markets including Algeria and Libya. They are all broadly in support of the proposed regulations.
The discussion at both the workshop and with the manufacturers, highlighted some necessary amendments to the proposal but it was successfully approved by participants. The next stage in the process is the formal approval of the MEPS and label by ANME and the project´s working party, with assistance from UNEP-U4E’s experts, for submission to become a formal Ministerial decree, which on acceptance translates the regulations into law.
A meeting with CETIME to follow up on the discussions initiated as part of the recent technical study tour to France earlier in the month and a wrap up meeting with ANME concluded the series of project activities during October.