The ASEAN Centre for Energy (ACE) with United Nations Environment Programme United for Efficiency (UNEP-U4E) co-organised the 1st Regional Workshop ASEAN Cool Initiative, held on 14 – 15 November 2023 in Renaissance Hotel, Johor Bahru, Malaysia, hosted by Energy Commission of Malaysia.
ASEAN Cool Initiative Project, funded by UNEP-U4E, was introduced at the 27th EE&C-SSN Meeting on 6 April 2023 which aims to accelerate the regional roadmap on energy efficient Air Conditioning (AC) up to 4.5 kW and more stringent Minimum Energy Performance Standards (MEPS) regulations. The project supports APAEC Phase II 2021-2025 targets, mainly in the Energy Efficiency and Conservation (EE&C) Program Area, with Outcome-Based Strategy (OBS) to harmonize and promote the energy efficiency standards and labelling of AC, as one of the targeted products.
The two-day workshop was designed to provide support to ASEAN Member States (AMS) in the journey towards more stringent MEPS levels, namely Phase I: ISO Coefficient of Performance (COP) Standard Formulas (CSPF) Level of 3.7 in 2023, and Phase II: ISO CSPF Level of 6.09 in 2025. Meanwhile, most MEPS levels in ASEAN countries still adhere to the 2015 ASEAN Regional Roadmap (CSPF of 3.08 by 2020).
ASEAN Cool Initiative Workshop at the Renaissance Johor Bahru Hotel
The workshop brought together 7 AMS from Cambodia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam to share progress on their national MEPS levels, the challenges they face in adopting higher MEPS, and the strategies employed to overcome these barriers.
Invited panellists and speakers from Dialogue Partners and International Organisations were Clean Cooling Collaborative (CCC), CLASP, Energy Foundation China (EFC), Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), International Institute for Energy Conservation (IIEC), Japan Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Industry Association (JRAIA), Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL), and UNEP-U4E on the Southern African Development Community (SADC).
The ACE representatives in attendance were Mr. Septia Supendi Buntara, Acting Manager of Conservation and Energy Efficiency (CEE) Department, Mr. Rio Jon Piter Silitonga, Research Analyst, CEE Department, and Ms. Mardika Firlina, Associate Officer, CEE Department.
Mr. Rio Jon Piter Silitonga, Research Analyst of ACE as Speaker
On the first day, the workshop began with a Scene Setting presentation as an introductory overview of the project and the current status and policies of AC MEPS in the region. Mr. Rio Jon Piter Silitonga from ACE was one of the speakers to share the Regional Context on AC.
The morning session continued with the presentation of an overview of AC regional policy roadmap recommendations by LBNL and IIEC. Followed by a breakout session where the AMS delegates and workshop participants were divided into three small groups. The 60 minutes group discussion was led by group facilitators and note takers to collect information on the status of AC MEPS in ASEAN and their plans to update and implement them.
In the afternoon session, distinguished speakers from China, Japan, and South Africa shared their experiences in adopting higher MEPS, including the development and stages of MEPS standards, stakeholder involvement, and the impact of MEPS implementation. Panel discussion on sharing insight and initiative updates by International Organization to higher MEPS on AC was the next agenda within the day, sitting as panellists were CCC, CLASP, and GIZ.
Mr. Septia Supendi Buntara (left), Acting Manager of ACE as Moderator
On the second day, the workshop session focused on the local manufacturers needs and capacities for energy efficient and low Global Warming Potential (GWP) AC. Moderated by Mr. Septia Supendi Buntara from ACE, AMS representatives from Philippines and Vietnam were invited to share their local manufacturer’s readiness to embrace higher MEPS and the necessary actions to promote energy-efficient AC in the region. LBNL also took part as a speaker in this session.
The final session was a panel discussion on the topic of leveraging financial instruments to negate the upfront cost of energy efficient appliances. Spokesperson from ACE, Malaysia, and Thailand were appointed to deliver their thoughts on existing financial instruments and how those financial instruments support the transition to more energy-efficient AC in the region. The discussion served as a reference for the development of financial instrument policies that can be adopted by ASEAN countries.
Ms. Mardika Firlina, Associate Officer of ACE as Master of Ceremonies
The workshop generated useful outcomes to support the AMS in accelerating the regional roadmap on energy efficient AC towards a more stringent MEPS. This event shall also enable closer cooperation between ASEAN and with Dialogue Partners and International Organisations. Wrapping up the workshop, ACE and UNEP-U4E recommended that there is a need to strive for harmonized regional labels, conduct market assessments, support the market shift for local manufacturers, ensure proper regulatory framework for monitoring and verification activities, and conduct consumers campaigns.