Nigeria flags-off process to develop Minimum Energy Performance Standards for lighting products


Photo caption: Group photograph of participants at the inception workshop on MEPS held in Lagos on Tuesday 7 February 2023.


The Federal Government of Nigeria through the Standard Organisation of Nigeria (SON) in collaboration with CLASP/Clean Lighting Coalition (CLiC) and Sustainable Research and Action for Environmental Development (SRADev Nigeria) on Tuesday 7 February 2023 flags- off the process to develop the Minimum Energy Performance Standards (MEPS) for lighting products in the country.

MEPS are the most sustainable option for achieving high level energy efficiency and it’s an instrument to phase out less efficient lighting technologies. MEPS with respect to Lighting applies to both energy efficiency and performance-related characteristics for lighting appliances.

In the face of lean power supply, efficient electricity use in homes, businesses and public facilities is one of the fastest and cheapest ways to accelerate sustainable development if net zero energy by 2060 must be realizable through the currently launched National Energy Transition Plan in the country.

At Inception Workshop on The Minimum Energy Performance (MEPS) and Labeling for Lighting in Nigeria held in Lagos, stakeholders unanimously agreed that development of a minimum energy performance standards is a welcome development in view of the energy supply challenge in the country.

In his presentation themed “Justification for MEPS Adoption, Technical Implementation Roadmap”, Owoeye Olakunle, said electricity shortage and high cost are the two major challenges confronting the electricity sector in Nigeria.  He added that utility tariff increased by more than 100% and diesel fuel cost increased by more than 200% in the last two years and to be at world average 78,000MW power plant additional capacity need to be installed.

Owoeye opined that if MEPS is adopted, there would be energy saving average of 1,935MW maximum demand from installed lighting in Nigeria buildings; save up to 1,032MW of power demand and equivalent to avoided power plant that would could cost 1.6b$.

Other benefits he listed include cost saving; environmental gain,  as LED is non-toxic as it contains no lead or mercury unlike fluorescent lamps, energy saved is CO2 emission saved and it is recyclable; enhanced productivity and policy alignment with Nigeria Energy Transition Plan- 2060 carbon neutral goal, climate change Act and Nigeria Energy Plan.

In his presentation on ‘”Market Report Case Study for Lighting in Nigeria”, Executive Director, SRADev Nigeria, Dr. Leslie Adogame, disclosed that after analysis of data from two agencies of government during the  Nigeria Market Lightning Research 2021 conducted by his organization, it was  revealed that compact fluorescent lamps which contains mercury are still in high demand in the country.

This high demand for CFLs, he explained, at a time of no best management practice for this toxic lighting equals increase pollution of the Nigerian environment. Hence, the need for immediate sustained awareness and policy change on the benefits and transition to LED lightings.

The SRADev boss pointed that African countries are all importers of fluorescent lighting, therefore a phase-out of fluorescent lighting will have no negative socio-economic impacts on the local economies. Besides, that phasing out fluorescent lighting aligns with eight sustainable development goals.

He went further, “The phase out of fluorescent lightings will not only allow the aforementioned benefits; it also aligns with 8 sustainable development goals aimed at ensuring the world is a safe place for everyone to survive.

“In an era of concerted efforts towards climate change, our country should not be left out in the global transition to clean lighting to achieve climate actions towards climate change and sustainable living”, he said.

Adogame stressed, “Eliminating exemptions for fluorescent lighting products at the next Conference of Parties (COP5) would lead to a global phase-out by 2025 and accelerate a transition to LED lighting.”

In his presentation on “MEPS and Labelling for Lightning Products in Nigeria” Colin Taylor, Senior Manager, Climate, Clasp, hinted that MEPS improves quality of life, increase energy access, reduce energy supply cost and carbon emission among others.

Under the United Nations Minamata Convention launched in 2013 with the goal to “Make Mercury History” by removing mercury from products and processes worldwide, the Convention includes exemptions for some mercury-containing fluorescent lighting, however, due to rapid development , improved accessibility and affordability of mercury-free LED lighting makes this exemption unnecessary.

On 7 February 2023, Eritrea ratified the Minamata Convention on mercury bringing the number of parties to 140 and 128 signatories.

At COP4 held in Bali, Indonesia in March 2022, parties proposed Amendments to the Convention. In April 2021 – the African region (36 countries, now 38) submitted an Amendment on Lighting, it proposed to amend the fluorescent lamp exemptions to phase-out:

  • Integrally ballasted CFLs by the end of 2024
  • Linear fluorescent lamps by the end of 2025
  • CCFL and EEFL by the end of 2024

The Minamata Convention entered into force on 16th August 2017. Nigeria ratified the Convention on 1st February 2018. The Federal Government of Nigeria is making efforts to ensure the reduction, and where possible, elimination, of mercury use in industrial applications, processes and products.

The campaign activities for the exercise would include: engage government agencies  with locally relevant  evidence of the benefits of a  lighting transition; support a network of  “champions” and voting  blocs; coordinate public health and  environmental advocates and  consumer groups to advance  national campaigns and work with progressive  lighting companies,  component makers,  distributors among others, to make an  LED-only pledge, reflecting  the private-sector benefits of  transition.