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Oman seeks to phase out energy inefficient light bulbs

Energy conservation: Move to formulate national policy to initiate the phase out of energy inefficient lamps, underpinned by regulations to either fully or partially restrict the manufacture, importation, or sale of inefficient light bulbs in the Sultanate of Oman.

Oman’s Authority for Public Services Regulation (APSR) is spearheading efforts to gradually rid the Omani market of energy-wasting light bulbs and lamp systems — part of a wider bid to rationalise energy consumption, promote energy efficiency standards, and champion a transition towards greener energy resources.

As a first step in this initiative, the Authority – formerly known as the Authority for Electricity Regulation – has invited qualified consultants to bid for its contract to provide advisory services for the formulation of a national programme to phase out energy inefficient light bulbs in the Sultanate. On Monday, November 30, was the deadline for the submission of proposals to this effect.

“The Authority recognised the need to consider a comprehensive approach to raising the efficiency of lamps in the Omani market and reached an agreement with the Ministry of Energy and Minerals to conduct a comprehensive study on phasing-out energy inefficient lamps in Oman in collaboration with the Ministry and the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Investment Promotion,” it said in an introduction to the initiative.

It noted in this regard its key role in the review of specifications and standards for energy efficient electrical appliances to be implemented in Oman. Efforts are also ongoing at the relevant department of the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Investment Promotion to develop and implement standards regulation the import and use of energy efficient LED lights in the Sultanate, it said.

Significantly, the selected consultant will be commissioned to carry out a comprehensive study to benchmark international and regional practices highlighting the different options implemented in phasing out of energy inefficient lamps.

“This should cover statutory and voluntary programmes; and the availability of viable and efficient alternatives for different categories of inefficient lamps, particularly incandescent lamps and taking into account any requirements for and the cost purchasing and installing new fittings when and if applicable,” the Authority said.

“The ultimate objective of this advisory is to assist the government in the formulation of a national policy to begin the phase out of energy inefficient lamps and provide the optimum programme for implementing the policy and setting up the necessary regulations that would either fully or partially restrict the manufacture, importation, or sale of inefficient light bulbs for general lighting in Oman,” the regulator stressed.

As part of its remit, the consultant will be required to review regulatory and legislative measures adopted by a number of countries, notably Australia, United States, South Korea and Philippines and those of the European Union, in support of Minimum Energy Performance Standards (MEPS) for light bulbs. Incentives introduced by other countries, such as Thailand, to encourage consumers to switch to energy efficient light bulbs will be studied as well.

A detailed timeline for the phase-out of energy inefficient light bulbs, and the need for voluntary/mandatory schemes alongside supporting legislative actions, will be chalked out as well as part of the consultant’s brief.

A number of countries have already restricted the use of inferior light bulbs, such as halogen or incandescent lamps, as they consume significantly more energy than LED (light emitting diode) or fluorescent based lamps.

Energy inefficient light bulbs not only add to the electricity bills of households, but ultimately also increase the cost burden for the Omani government in subsidising the power sector.

At a macro-level, they also contribute to greenhouse gas emissions responsible for global warming and climate change.
  • #Oman
  • #Energy
  • #inefficient
  • #Environment
  • #greenhouse
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