Updating the Minimum Energy Performance Standards (MEPS) for Air Conditioners (ACs) in Ecuador

In response to the country’s electricity shortage crisis, attributed partly to a heavy reliance on hydropower, USAID and Berkeley Lab have compiled a proposal to update Ecuador’s MEPS for ACs. Their study, which informed the proposal, highlights a surge in AC usage, contributing to a 57% increase in electricity consumption over four years. The existing MEPS, established in 2013, is outdated.

The proposed updates aim to balance both cost-effectiveness and significant energy savings. There are several potential benefits, including savings in electricity bills and avoided investments in power capacity. Collaboration among many stakeholders is needed to enhance energy efficiency— technical and policy recommendations such as establishing AC testing labs and efficient equipment access programs through international partnerships can help with this process.


Provide technical assistance to the GoE to update the minimum energy performance standard (MEPS) for room air conditioners. The main output is a Regulatory Action Plan that includes recommendations on adequate energy efficiency (EE) levels and technical requirements for the MEPS update and estimated climate and economic benefits resulting from this intervention. (Phase I)


  • In the last ten years the number of A/Cs in Ecuador has tripled
  • In the next ten years, we expect that number to double
  • By 2050, the number of A/Cs in Ecuador will quadruple

Speaker at Cooling Summit held in Quito, Ecuador; November 2023



  • Well-designed MEPS achieve significant energy savings at scale over time


  • GHG emission reductions are achieved in support of NDC goals


  • Energy bills savings for consumers; Innovation and competitiveness increase


  • Established strategies for implementation and monitoring can be leveraged to increase capacity

Project Phases

News and Updates

USAID and LBNL expand engagement with the government and HVAC industry in Ecuador to advance energy efficiency (EE) standard for air conditioners.

March 10, 2023

Electricity consumption for cooling in the residential sector in Ecuador represents up to 27% of total energy use in coastal areas and is projected to grow significantly as the ownership rate of air conditioning units is expected to increase in the next few years.  As part of USAID’s Energy Efficiency for Development program (EE4D), LBNL is working on a proposal to update the current minimum energy performance standard (MEPS) for room ACs to reduce energy consumption and GHG emissions associated with this end use. Last week, with support from USAID/Ecuador and Tetra Tech, an LBNL team held meetings in Quito and Guayaquil with key government officials and HVAC industry leaders to present the project and get valuable inputs for the development of the proposed update. The activity was a follow-on to LBNL’s participation in the mission conducted by USAID’s Energia Sostenible para Ecuador (ESE) project on September 2022. As the Government of Ecuador is currently reviewing technical standards for different products to improve competitiveness and adhere to international regulatory best practices, expanded engagement by USAID and LBNL with key actors in the regulatory space will help in highlighting the economic and environmental benefits of an updated MEPS for ACs.

USAID and Berkeley Lab Expand Collaboration with the Government of Ecuador on Energy Efficiency

May 12, 2023

While Ecuador aims to reduce cumulative energy consumption equivalent to 150,907 gigawatt hours by 2035, a lack of public awareness on energy efficiency opportunities in buildings is impeding progress. To address these barriers, on April 28th, 2023, with support from USAID, Berkeley Lab participated in the seminar “Talks about Energy Efficiency in Industry, Construction, and Sustainable Public Procurement,” organized by the Ecuadorian Accreditation Service (SAE). Berkeley Lab delivered a presentation on application of the BETTER retrofit analysis tool in Mexico and Tunisia to improve energy efficiency and advance toward net zero energy in their buildings sectors. The event included the participation of the Ministry of Energy and the Ministry of Production, Investment, Foreign Trade and Fisheries, among other government agencies, research institutions, and industry entities. Berkeley Lab participation in the seminar opened the possibility of leveraging the BETTER tool in Ecuador to support reaching the country’s energy consumption reduction target and reinforced engagement with key partners to advance the ongoing USAID-Berkeley Lab project to update the minimum energy performance standards (MEPS) for room air conditioners.

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