“Cooling Summit” in Ecuador addresses impacts of cooling electricity consumption

As part of continuing engagement conducted by LBNL and USAID through the Energy Efficiency Development program (EE4D) to advance energy efficiency in Ecuador, a Cooling Summit was convened on November 15, 2023, to address the environmental and economic impacts associated with growing electricity use by air conditioners (AC) in the country. The event was organized in partnership with Ecuador’s Ministry of Production, Foreign Trade, Investments and Fisheries (MPCEIP) and brought together government officials, industry representatives and members of the research community to highlight environmental and economic impacts caused by current and projected electricity consumption by AC use in Ecuador and globally. The agenda included a presentation by the Ministry of Energy and Mines on energy efficiency policies related to cooling and a presentation by LBNL on the regulatory proposal it developed as part of technical assistance to update the minimum energy performance standard (MEPS) for air conditioners. A round table with HVAC industry leaders provided useful insights on the market dynamics for air conditioners in Ecuador. The Cooling Summit created the opportunity to revise the status of the regulatory process for the update of the AC MEPS and to generate a discussion between key stakeholders to develop a broader agenda of collaboration around efficient cooling.



USAID and Berkeley Lab Advance Energy Efficiency Standard Revision for Air Conditioners in Ecuador

An update of the current minimum energy performance standard for air conditioners in Ecuador could achieve an avoidance of generation capacity of 240 MWs by 2035 and 460 MWs by 2045, according to a report developed by Berkeley Lab with support of USAID’s Energy Efficiency for Development program (EE4D).  The results of the analysis were presented at a “Cooling Summit” held in Quito on November 15 th , 2023, event organized by USAID, Berkeley Lab and Ecuador’s Ministry of Production, Foreign Trade, Investment and Fisheries (MPCEIP) and attended by representatives of government agencies, HVAC industry and the cooling research community.  The report provides a technical assessment supporting the revision and update of the minimum energy performance standard (MEPS) for air conditioners in Ecuador, which was set in 2013.  The methodology used in the report includes the scenario analysis of five different MEPS levels, the estimation of the current AC ownership rate and the projection of the AC stock in Ecuador to 2050. In the context of the electricity crisis caused by the reduction of hydropower during the dry season, the technical assistance provided by EE4D advances energy efficiency as part of the strategy to reduce the vulnerability of the power sector in Ecuador.


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

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.

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

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.