Ministers of Energy from across Central America and the Dominican Republic agreed to adopt an energy efficient lighting strategy for the region that includes the gradual phase-out of inefficient incandescent lamps by the end of 2016. The signatories of the strategy have now begun to implement the transition to more efficient lighting.
Technical regulations have been adopted by the Central American Integration System (SIECA) following an integrated policy approach to phase-out inefficient incandescent and tungsten halogen incandescent lamps. This includes implementing minimum energy performance standards and environmentally sound management activities, such as collection and recycling of spent products. Maximum mercury content limits for lamps aligns with limits established by the Minamata Convention on Mercury.
The project is being coordinated in cooperation with Proyecto Mesoamérica and UNEP’s Regional Gateway for Technology Transfer and Climate Change Action in Latin America and the Caribbean (REGATTA). Launched in October 2012, the regional strategy involves eight countries: Belize, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Panama.
According to Proyecto Mesoamerica, the transition to more efficient lighting the region will deliver aggregated energy savings of over $1 billion. Electricity use will be reduced by over 2,400 GWh per year with estimated savings of $ 530 million annually in fuel consumption. Together, Central American countries will lower CO2 emissions by almost 2 million tonnes per year and avoid $ 660 million in investments in new power generation.
The regional strategy has called for Environment Ministers in the region to develop an agreement for a take-back system for used lighting products. A regionally coordinated approach will also ensure that lighting products comply with quality and energy performance requirements to guarantee that only safe and compliant products are sold to consumers.