Nigeria looks set to walk the talk on energy efficiency
The Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola SAN, in Abuja, recently launched the Building Energy Efficiency Code describing it as a bold step towards energy conservation in the country.
The Building Energy Efficiency Code is a follow-up to the Building Energy Efficiency Guideline (BEEG) launched in June 2016 which provides builders, architects and engineers with minimum energy requirement for new residential and office building in Nigeria.
The European Union, German government and United States Agency for International Development (USAID) on the occasion said Africa’s largest economy could save an average of 57 per cent of energy generated and used in-country through passive and active energy conservative measures. This could save up to 40 and 75 per cents of energy.
Fashola said that conservation was in the forefront of the present administration’s agenda on both power and Economic Recovery and Growth Plan, added that BEEC would complement the existing National Building Code, noting that it was “about the amount of money saved on energy being put into use within the economy”.
The minister explained that all of the fundamentals of the BEEC have been incorporated into the Revised National Building Codes, and that the codes was recently presented to the National Council on Land and Housing, involving all of the states of the Federation at its Meeting in Abuja and have been adopted and approved by the Council.
When implemented, the code would not only curb excesses and wastage, but would also provide employment opportunity for the teeming Nigeria youths adding that Government was working relentlessly to take Nigeria to the place of stable, uninterrupted power and energy conservation which, according to him, “is synonymous with energy efficiency and reduction of waste.”
At a recent workshop on energy efficiency in Lagos, experts harped on the need for energy efficiency in the manufacturing sector, stating that efficient energy consumption is a critical factor for sustainable and profitable business.
For Nigeria, this is an economic necessity. The Manufacturers Association of Nigeria avers that energy cost accounts for 40 percent of production cost in the manufacturing sector. So not only will it cut down cost, energy efficiency when embedded in a company’s strategy will protect the environment and make the business sustainable.
This is why the Bernard Schlagherk, the German ambassador in a goodwill message, at the occasion described energy as the “make or break point” of any economy, adding that the gains of energy efficiency were unquantifiable in the building sector and capable of creating a sustainable economic development in a nation.
One way to integrate energy efficiency in the manufacturing sector which is a key factor in the high cost of manufactured goods in Nigeria is to change obsolete manufacturing equipment as they are high energy consumers. Government can encourage more competitiveness of locally manufactured products by ensuring that producers are supported to access funds that can aid them.
However, energy efficiency has to be integrated into every facet of national life for it to work. Recently, the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) said from next year, February, Nigeria will stop importation of fridges, air conditioners and other appliances that are not energy efficient. It has also fixed 2019 for locally- made ones.
SON said last month that it will launch labels that will be attached to all appliances with approved minimum energy performance, making it illegal to import any of the electrical products with less than a star.
The benefits of energy efficiency include reduction in domestic energy consumption by up to 30 per cent of total energy demand, and improved quality of appliances. It will also halt the application of greenhouse gas as refrigerant in both air conditioning and refrigerating.
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