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SEAD Contributes to the ECOWAS Energy Efficiency Policy Action Plan

Workshop and analysis help advance appliance energy efficiency initiatives in the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS)

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

As part of its ongoing work with the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Center for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (ECREEE), the Super-efficient Equipment and Appliance Deployment (SEAD) initiative of the Clean Energy Ministerial recently helped deliver a workshop on improving appliance energy efficiency to representatives from energy and standardization agencies of the 15 nation members of the ECOWAS.

The workshop included reviewing and validating a SEAD study assessing the institutional capacity and policy frameworks for energy efficiency standards and labels for appliances across the region. Participants also worked on developing an ECOWAS regional strategy on efficient lighting and identified financing options for implementing these energy efficiency activities. This work helped advance two key initiatives in the ECOWAS Energy Efficiency Policy, which ECOWAS energy ministers adopted in October 2012. 

The workshop took place in Cotonou, Benin, and was jointly presented by the Collaborative Labeling and Appliance Standards Program (CLASP) on behalf of the SEAD initiative, the ECREEE, and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) en.lighten initiative. Workshop participants included representatives from the National Rural Electrification Agency in ECOWAS member states, standards and labels technical committee members, efficient lighting working group members, the ECOWAS commission, and other regional and international stakeholders. 

SEAD has also supported the ECOWAS Energy Efficiency Policy by estimating the potential energy savings for implementing regional standards and labeling policies. Initial analysis suggests that the ECOWAS region could save more than 60 terawatt hours (TWh) of electricity per year by 2030 by adopting best practice efficiency standards for primary appliances such as refrigerators, air conditioners, lighting, and other equipment. To put this figure into perspective, the 60 TWh is nearly as much electricity as was consumed by the entire ECOWAS region in 2011.

SEAD’s efforts to advance these energy efficiency initiatives could have a major impact. The energy savings achieved through more-efficient appliances may mitigate peak loads and related power cuts, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and deliver financial savings that can boost sustainable development. Improving energy efficiency is one of the three objectives of the UN Secretary General’s Sustainable Energy for All initiative and contributes to improving access to modern, reliable, and affordable energy services throughout the region.

SEAD is an initiative of the Clean Energy Ministerial, a high-level global forum to share best practices and promote policies and programs that encourage and facilitate the transition to a global clean energy economy. 

The Collaborative Labeling and Appliance Standards Program (CLASP) serves as the operating agent for SEAD. For more information, visit

The UNEP/GEF en.lighten initiative promotes and coordinates global efforts in the transition to energy efficient lighting. Its mandate is to accelerate the global commercialisation and market transformation of efficient lighting technologies by providing technical and policy support to countries. For more information about the UNEP/GEF en.lighten initiative, please visit

The Regional Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (ECREEE) is a specialized Agency of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS). Established by Regulation C/REG.23/11/08 of the 61st Session of the ECOWAS Council of Ministers, ECREEE aims at the creation of favorable framework conditions for renewable energy and energy efficiency markets by supporting activities directed to mitigate existing technical, legal, institutional, economic, financial, policy, and capacity related barriers. ECREEE started its activities in 2009 and officially launched in 2010 with support of the Austrian and Spanish governments and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO). In 2011, ECREEE launched the development of the ECOWAS Energy Efficiency Policy. The Policy proposes regional energy efficiency targets, standards, and key actions to be implemented on national levels. The Policy is being developed as part of the Supporting Energy Efficiency Access in West Africa (SEEA-WA) Project, executed by ECREEE in partnership with the Austrian Energy Agency (AEA), Alternative for Energy, Renewable Energy and Environment (AERE), Innovation, ENERGIA, and ENDA, and with financial support from the ACP-EU Energy Facility, the Agency for Environment and Energy Management (ADEME), and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). For more information, visit and

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