|Overview : |
The South African government through the Department of Energy (DoE) in collaboration with the Department of Trade and Industry (the dti), and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) is implementing the project “Market Transformation through the Introduction of Energy Efficiency Standards and the Labelling of Household Appliances in South Africa”, hereafter referred to as the “S&L Programme”.
Energy efficiency standards and labels (EE S&L) are sets of procedures and regulations that, respectively, prescribe the minimum energy performance (MEPS) of manufactured products and the informative labels on these indicating products’ energy performance. They are meant to help the market recognise energy efficiency and act on it. Without the information provided by labels, consumers and other end-users are often unable to make an informed decision about the true cost of a product, and manufacturers lack the incentive to improve the energy performance of it as there is no way for the market to recognise and value this aspect. Standards can be set to ensure that obsolete and inefficient technology does not continue to dominate the market, much more effectively than is possible by the actions of individual end-users. MEPS and the display of energy labels for 12 appliances was made mandatory in 2015 and 2016 with the issuance of VC’s 9008 and 9006 respectively. Globally, there are three types of comparative labels – bar, dial and continuous. In 2005 South Africa opted to align with the EU bar label as the vast majority of the country’s appliances were sourced from Europe. International research has confirmed that energy labels should be unique to each country, in other words they must depict homegrown symbols and terminology to assure consumers that the program is local and endorsed by the government. The South African energy label (shown below), launched in 2015, depicts the Department of Energy’s Energy Efficiency logo in the top right corner making the programme’s origins immediately evident to the consumer. Other locally relevant design features include South African National Standard (bottom), mandatory colours and dimensions.
In this regard, The Department of Energy and UNDP are seeking to procure the services of an independent market research company, which has graphic design capabilities, to conduct nationally representative consumer research that responds to the stated research objectives, deliver required inputs on the label content, and then guide the final label design and development.