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

Why Energy Efficiency

The 2012 World Energy Outlook highlights the importance of energy efficiency (EE) in reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the coming decades: energy efficiency is responsible for 75% of emissions reductions by 2020 in a 2°C temperature rise scenario.

For developing countries, energy efficiency (EE) improvements offer multiple benefits. EE will be important since it curbs demand growth, thereby reducing additional power capacity needs and facilitating cheaper and faster energy access to populations. Improved EE will reduce energy consumption leading to lower energy bills for consumers as well as lower fossil fuels import for the country. Moreover, EE can make it easier for lower income households to pay energy bills and freeing up funds for other needs. Therefore, those in poverty can elevate their standard of living faster.

EE can also contribute to nations’ prosperity and energy security. Reduced fossil fuel imports also enhance energy security and reduce expenditure on fossil fuel subsidies, thus contributing to GDP growth. Realizing EE has few technical challenges and numerous energy efficient technologies exist with payback times between 2 to 8 years.

Despite this, non-technical barriers, such as high up-front capital costs and energy illiteracy, mean that many of these potential EE gains remain untapped. Overcoming these non-technical barriers has been studied by numerous scholars over the past decades, also in the Greater Mekong Sub-region (GMS: Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam), yet research so far mainly focused on the industrial sector and there are few studies focusing on encouraging EE in households in the developing world; none have focused on the GMS. The MECON project offers a great opportunity to explore the encouragement of EE on household level in this region.