The Council of Ministers approved a regulation that empowers the Ethiopian Energy Authority to regulate energy efficiency performance standards of equipment and appliances.
Approved on December 15, 2018, the 40-page draft regulation took four years to finalize and was pushed back to the Authority for a revision six times before its final approval.
The Ethiopian Electric Utility, Ethiopian Electric Power, the Geological Survey of Ethiopia, and the ministries of Water, Irrigation & Energy, Finance and Mines and Petroleum & Natural Gases have all participated in the draft process.
The East African Power Pool, established in 2005 and comprised of seven east African nations, also consulted on the draft.
"While working on the draft regulation, we took the experiences of India, Thailand, Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda," Habtamu Milku, director of Legal Affairs at the Authority, said.
The new regulation empowers the Authority to set the minimum and maximum energy efficiency performance standards for electronic motors and give certificates of efficiency for any manufacturer, importer, wholesaler or retailer.
The regulation also provides power to the Authority to designate industries based on their type, quantities of energy consumption and methods of energy utilization. It also recommends measures to be taken by industries to improve energy performance.
The Authority, established in 2014, will issue a directive on standards of safety and technical and quality of services. The new regulation also gives priority to off-grid companies, which produce and sell power in areas without a national grid system.
"Working effectively on the regulating part can help minimise the service quality problem," Habtamu told Fortune.
The Authority's Energy Efficiency Conservation Department is currently conducting a study to identify minimum standards for motor efficiency that manufacturers will be mandated to meet.
The standards will be based on internationally applied criteria developed by the International Energy Standards, which ranks electric motor efficiency as standard, high, premium and super premium.
Suppliers laud the approval of the regulation by the Council of Ministers.
"The regulation will be beneficial in minimizing energy waste," said Yeneneh Dawit, managing director of General Power, a 13-year-old company that supplies, installs and tests electro-mechanical equipment. "But the energy sector advances quickly, and the Authority has to consider this."
Experts agree with the sentiments of Yeneneh, especially in encouraging local businesses.
"In the past, regulatory efforts by the state mainly approached problems just by imposing restrictions and limitations," said Tigabu Atalo, a power and energy consultant with over a decade of experience in the power industry. "The new regulation is a step ahead from past experience."