Final Meeting for the PALS Programme Highlighted the Need to Maintain the Momentum

Saturday, 08 Dec 2018

Nadi, 27th November 2018 - Five countries including Fiji, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tuvalu and Vanuatu have adopted the Minimum Energy Performance Standards and Labeling (MEPSL) legislations and are currently enforcing these. Four countries including Cook Islands, Kiribati, Niue and Tonga have their draft bills awaiting the endorsement by Parliament and Papua New Guinea have got drafts that are still subject to public consultations and the momentum should not be lost. This was the concluding message from the PALS regional workshop that was held in Nadi on the last week of November.      

The Pacific Appliance Labelling and Standards Programme (PALS) Regulatory Group Meeting was held in Nadi, Fiji from 26-27 November 2018. The opening statement was delivered by Mr Akuila Tawake, Deputy Director Georesources and Energy Programme of Pacific Community’s (SPC) Geoscience, Energy and Maritime Division. The meeting was attended by PALS Pacific Island countries (PICs) national coordinators and regulators from Cook Islands, Fiji, Kiribati, Niue, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu as well as PALS Technical Adviser – George Wilkenfeld and SPC.

The meeting appreciated the PALS Programme and its activities and progress, which is implemented by SPC and funded by the Government of Australia. The meeting highlighted their experiences, effectiveness and challenges in implementing the PALS Programme and noted that it is currently the only regional initiative, in place for energy efficiency.

From Akuila Tawake’s opening speech, “I am aware that you represent organizations that have focused and worked in energy related areas and are quite informed and knowledgeable about the extensiveness of the energy efficiency issues your respective countries are facing today, and likewise have acknowledged that we, in our own individual capacity cannot holistically address these issues unless we work together in coordination and in partnership complementing each other’s initiatives when needed. And this is what the PALS Project is all about! Ladies and Gentlemen an important aspect of the PALS Project is the harmonisation of electrical appliance standards and energy labelling for the Pacific.”

Most Pacific Island Countries (PICs) emphasized their needs for more resources – human capacity due to staff turnover and funding, and political will to progress endorsement and adoption of the energy sector legislation and regulations. The meeting noted the possible changes to Australian and New Zealand Standards (AS/NZS) to refrigerators, freezers and air conditioners in 2019 to 2021 and that PICs should wait until Australia finalizes its new rules and dates before considering adoption of the revised standards. Currently there is no AS/NZS standards on LED Lights yet, and standards on LED Lights is being developed.

Each country presented their country plans and budget for December 2018 – June 2018 and beyond. The PALS Programme is coming to an end in June 2019 and there is a need to secure funding to continue the standards and labelling work on the PICs.

 

The meeting opening statement by Mr Akuila Tawake, Deputy Director Georesources and Energy Programme of the Pacific Community’s (SPC) Geoscience, Energy and Maritime Division.

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