Power-sapping appliances and buildings under scrutiny
Bandar Seri Begawan - With Brunei Darussalam working to ensure adequate natural resources to power the population for decades to come, experts from Australia yesterday suggested that the country should look into reducing usage of electricity in homes.
In an interview with the Borneo Bulletin yesterday following day one of the Brunei Darussalam-Australia Workshop on Energy Efficiency and Conservation, Australia's Director of Lighting and Equipment Energy Efficiency Team, Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency, Melanie Slade, said the priority is to look at the energy consumption of appliances such as air-conditioners, water heaters and lighting, paying particular attention to the number of such items in a household.
What could be done to facilitate the move towards sustaining precious energy in homes, such as what Australia has adopted over the past 25 years, is the introduction of what is known as an "Energy Rating" label displayed on such equipment to assist consumers in making a decision on purchases.
Another area that could be improved, she added, would be to concentrate on incorporating energy efficiency practices in new buildings, she said, noting that most countries have building codes that stress utilising energy at its most optimum level.
Among the practices that are implemented in Australia, she said, is a programme dubbed the Commercial Buildings Disclosure programme whereby developers of buildings that are over 2,000 square metres are legally required to reveal how much energy will be needed to run the space, making the programme a competition among sellers of property, thus encouraging them to go green when attracting tenants or buyers.
Slade said that Brunei has the unique opportunity to reap the benefits by learning from the experience and knowledge of countries such as Australia in energy saving.
"Brunei doesn't have to learn by itself or make the mistakes that we've made but, instead, Brunei can do this quite quickly instead of trying to do its own thing," she said, adding that the country has the chance to adopt standards already in existence.
The workshop, she said, has provided her "a really great opportunity to share experiences and to see if we can help each other in developing the energy efficiency programme" and the similarities between the two nations make them ideal partners in this particular respect.
"Australia also has a small population and is relatively a small market, so it is difficult for us to command the efficient products nor do we produce it.
"Like Brunei, we are a technology taker," she said, adding that, "we also have a very high energy use per capita".
--Courtesy of Borneo Bulletin