Ghana Leads the Way with Mandatory Standards and Labels
In the 1980s and 1990s, Ghana experienced strong economic growth that brought with it a large increase in demand for energy. Ghana’s electricity supply capacity could not keep up with this rapid growth in demand.
Appliance energy efficiency policies became part of the solution to this national crisis. In 2000, CLASP partnered with Ghana’s Electrical Appliance Labelling and Standards Programme (GEALSP) to develop the first standards and labels for sub-Saharan Africa.
CLASP and GEALSP developed an S&L plan, taking into account the potential effect of efficiency standards on low-income groups; the need to make it feasible and affordable for Ghanaians to purchase energy efficient products; and the need to make it attractive for Ghanaian manufacturers to produce energy efficient products.
Because of the strong effect of room air conditioners on peak electricity demand, GEALSP and CLASP agreed to implement room air conditioner standards first. Standards for lighting systems, refrigerators, and deep freezers followed.
GEALSP and CLASP also conducted a consumer awareness analysis to assess comprehension of Ghana’s energy label. Following the analysis, Ghana revised its label to be more effective in relaying product energy efficiency information to consumers.
Ghana’s S&L plan – leading with a room air conditioner MEPS – provided significant energy savings while enabling maximum stakeholder support. The plan allowed the GEALSP to establish a precedent, improve its technical capacity, and increase the chances of successful implementation of future standards.
Energy and Cost Savings
Ghana’s room air conditioner standard was expected to save Ghanaian consumers and businesses an average of $64 million annually in energy bills and reduce carbon dioxide emissions by about 2.8 million tons over 30 years. Policymakers estimated that this standard, by 2013, would save the equivalent energy of a 150 MW generating plant and help to alleviate the peak load energy problem associated with rolling blackouts.
Similarly, the policy for refrigerators will save Ghana USD $72 million per year, and the CFL policy has resulted in mean household income savings of 2.5% for Ghanaians in larger cities.
CLASP’s work in Ghana was supported by the United Nations Foundation and the United States Agency for International Development.