Effective energy efficiency policy implementation targetion "New Modern Energy CONsumers" in the Greater Mekong Subregion


Background article

What is MECON?

MECON stands for ‘new modern energy consumers’. In the GMS countries context, MECON refers to people connected to the electricity grid but with low level daily income (US$ 2-5), who will be responsible for a large share of expected increase in energy demand and thus GHG emissions in the future.


There are two main reasons why should we focus on the new modern energy consumers. First of all, they are expected to have more income level, and thus consume more energy, in the near and medium term future. Energy projections from many international agencies show that household energy use will dramatically increase in developing countries; by 2050 it will be responsible for 25% of total final energy consumption.Therefore, the project aims to be proactive by studying this target group and designing policies to encourage their uses of EE products and raise their awareness before they start consuming more energy.

The other reason is the path dependence of buying household appliances. Typically, the most energy consuming appliances in household are, for example, air-conditioner, refrigerator and instant water heater. Not only these items have long lifetimes, but also the ones with higher EE usually have higher initial costs. Therefore, it is more likely that a low income household would buy the non-EE appliances, and will continue using them for a long time until they can afford a new one, even though they want to be more energy efficient. Therefore, some sorts of financial scheme or policy should be implemented to help them with this.