MUSCAT, OCT 21 – As a part of a concerted national effort to promote sustainable energy consumption practices across the Sultanate, Oman’s authorities plan to begin introducing and enforcing standards designed to ensure that electrical appliances and fittings used in residential and commercial buildings are energy efficient.
The multi-sectoral initiative is being spearheaded by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, which hopes to complete the formulation of these standards and begin applying them with effect from 2019. When enforced, it will become mandatory for manufacturers, importers and distributors of a wide array of household appliances and electrical fittings to ensure their merchandise is energy efficient before it is made available to local buyers.
Earlier this year, the Energy Lab — a forum that looked at a number of proposals to advance Oman’s transition towards renewable and alternative energy resources — also took on board initiatives to help mitigate Oman’s rapidly escalating electricity demand growth. One such initiative champions the use of energy efficient appliances and fittings in homes.
“Developing efficiency standards for electrical appliances will rationalise power consumption and improve the environmental performance of these appliances. It is known that most of electricity consumption in residential buildings, for example, is related to air conditioners, lighting appliances and water heaters. Compared to other appliances, air conditioners are considered the most energy consuming appliances,” stated a report by the Implementation Support & Follow-Up (ISFU) unit — an outfit of the Diwan of Royal Court tasked with accelerating Oman’s economic diversification.
According to ISFU, the process of setting energy efficient standards for air-conditioners — the chief guzzler of electricity in homes and buildings — has been “completed, reviewed and approved” by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, represented by the Directorate General for Specifications and Metrology. Efforts are now underway to prepare standards for lighting appliances, among other devices and equipment, it said.
“By 2019, all standards of different electrical appliances will be set and enforced,” the report added, noting that the Authority for Electricity Regulation (AER), the Ministry of Environment and Climate Affairs, and Royal Oman Police, and also stakeholders in this initiative.
Participating in the Energy Lab, which ran for about three weeks from March 18 to April 26, 2018, were decision-makers and high level executives representing a number of electricity and energy related government agencies and stakeholder institutions, Oil & Gas producers, private oilfield businesses, and academic and research bodies.