Standards Bureau, Partners Conduct Review Session on MEPS Framework


By: Kebba AF Touray 
The Gambia Standards Bureau (GSB), in collaboration with the National Electro-Technical Committee (NEC), has concluded a two-day review meeting on the framework for minimum energy performance standards (MEPS).
In collaboration with the United States National Environment Program (UNEP) and United for Efficiency (U4E), GSB embarked on a review and update on MEPS through the national framework, to leapfrog to the use of energy-efficient and climate-friendly air conditioners and refrigerators in the Gambia. The review aims to reflect on the least technological advancement in the sector to position the Gambia among regional counterparts.
In her statement to welcome participants, Ya Awa Njie on behalf of NEC, said the review is crucial in their efforts towards ensuring energy efficiency and savings as a guide in the performance of their work, as it relates to MEPS. 
Madeline Edi, Energy Efficiency specialist with U4E, expressed gratitude over the review meeting, and said the project has been running since the beginning of last year, but said the most important activity for them is the development of a regulatory framework for the removal of the inefficient products from the market. She said this will ensure that consumers at home are guided on the efficiency of their products with energy-saving potentials, adding that they have also realized that if the Gambia implements standards and labor on residential refrigerators and air conditioners, it can result in huge energy savings for the country.
Papa Secka, the Director of GSB described the gathering as an assignment to update MEPS, particularly on refrigerators and air conditioners, and to align such products to the modern requirements and specifications across the region. The products, he said, are traded widely, and given the living within the continental free trade area, there will certainly be other producers within the region who might be interested in the ECOWAS market.
“It is extremely important that we have the requirements that are on equal terms with what exists in the eastern, Northern, and Southern Regions of Africa. 
“The UNEP team has done the work and identified some of the gaps and differences which will be looked at by the team in a consultative way for us to arrive and agree to a broad consensus,” he said. He further highlighted that in addition to the current work, they have established the national lighting laboratory, which was the first phase in the energy efficiency framework for lighting products, as a start, and said this will be inaugurated by the Ministry of Energy and the GSB at the national quality center in Abuko, in a few days’ time. He told the gathering that they are working tirelessly with the Ministry and other stakeholders, to go to the next phase of the laboratory testing of refrigerators and air conditioners, which he said is timely, and cited one of the gaps as support to the framework. He said they have identified with the Ministry and had discussions on the matter with the Minister as a basis to allow relevance and effectiveness of the laboratory.
“We are on track in respect to all the components related to energy efficiency, and we are very optimistic that we will have the second phase of the laboratory up and running by the time the regulatory framework is finalized for these products,” Mr. Secka said. 
He stated that if the Gambia can achieve these milestones, it will cement her position in ensuring energy efficiency in all products.