10 February 2015

What is Vietnam’s energy efficiency standards and labelling program?

Vietnamese households use around a third of the nation’s electricity – mostly for lighting and electrical appliances (such as air conditioning, refrigerators, TVs, electric fans, rice cookers and washing machines). This electricity consumption is projected to more than double by 2020. The Government of Vietnam’s National Energy Efficiency Program aims to limit the growth in consumption and thereby reduce costs to consumers, cut CO2 emissions and increase energy security.

In common with 80 other countries, the Government of Vietnam has introduced legislation to implement Minimum Energy Performance Standards (MEPS) and mandatory labelling for lighting and electrical appliances. Similar programs have been assessed by the International Energy Agency to be one of the most cost effective ways that countries can reduce energy consumption.

What difference will the program make?

The energy efficiency standards and labelling program is forecast to save consumers a cumulative total of around 110 trillion VND (US$4.8 billion) by 2030 and will reduce emissions of carbon dioxide by 34 million tonnes. Households’ electricity costs will be approximately 9 trillion VND (US$ 400 million) a year lower in 2030 as a result of the policy; an average saving of 260,000 VND/year each (US$12/year for every household).

By 2030, the annual national electricity savings will be around 6,000 GWh/year, which is the equivalent of avoiding the need for building two new 500 MW coal-fired power plants.

How is the Australian Government helping?

The Australian Government Department of Industry is supporting this action through providing A$2.465 million of assistance through the Vietnam Energy Efficiency Standards and Labelling (VEESL) Program, funded by Australian Aid, The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

What has been achieved so far?

The VEESL program has already provided significant assistance to support the implementation of MEPS and labelling through:

Commissioning an online registration system that was launched in December 2013. The registration system makes it easier for manufacturers to comply with the policy and reduces the administration costs for the Government of Vietnam.

Supporting the development of test standards for refrigerators, lighting, rice cookers and electric fans. These have helped to align Vietnamese with international standards and provide benefits to manufacturers and consumers by reducing the costs of compliance.

Providing training for test laboratories to improve the accuracy and consistency of testing. This will increase confidence in the enforcement regime and ensure that non-compliant products can be identified and removed from the market. This benefits law-abiding manufacturers and ensures that consumers get the energy efficiency benefits they expect.

Investing in test equipment and training to enable the accurate testing of TVs in two laboratories in Vietnam. This will increase confidence in the enforcement regime and reduce compliance costs for manufacturers while providing an additional source of revenue for the test laboratories.

Providing ongoing advice to MOIT that, among other things, has resulted in a strengthening of the obligation on retailers to ensure that regulated products bear the label.

Commissioning a pilot survey of compliance with the label regulations that has helped to build the capacity of local government to monitor and enforce compliance and demonstrated that the endorsement label is well-understood and valued by industry.

Conducting market surveys and research to assist the Government of Vietnam to understand household ownership and use of appliances along with manufacturer and retailer behaviour.

What are the plans for the rest of the project?

The VEESL project is intended to continue until June 2015. By that time the project aims to have also:

  • Supported the Government of Vietnam in formally adopting a process for re-grading MEPS and labels to ensure continuous improvements in energy efficiency. This process will provide predictability for manufacturers enabling them to provide more energy efficient products to consumers.
  • Strengthened the process of accreditation for test laboratories and improving their performance against test standards. This will ensure continuing confidence in the quality of tests benefiting manufacturers and consumers
  • Added further functionality to the online registration system; to accommodate new products.
  • Provided an online facility where members of the public can easily search for energy efficient products.
  • Supported MOIT in the development of their approach to enforcement of the MEPS and label regulations to ensure consistent levels of compliance throughout Vietnam.
  • Improved the guidance provided to manufacturers and importers so that they can more easily understand how to comply with the legislation.
  • Provided training to build the capacity of the Government of Vietnam to:
  • communicate the label effectively to consumers; and
  • evaluate the impact of the policy.

For more information visit the Programme page on the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science website.