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From the 2006 census, the population of Nigeria is estimated to about 170 million people. Only about 50 percent of the population has access to electricity. The power generated in Nigeria is grossly inadequate for the population, thus making electricity supply in Nigeria very unstable and erratic; Nigerians suffer from frequent power outages that last for several hours. This has forced households, industries and businesses to rely on privately owned diesel and petrol generators as primary or back-up sources of electricity. The use of private generators is very expensive and a major source of air pollution, emitting greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. Much more worrisome is the waste of energy that comes from human behavior and the use of energy intensive appliances. Previous efforts taken by government to bridge the energy demand and supply gap focused mainly on generation with little or no effort made to address the efficient utilization of energy. The government has begun to take advantage of the potential inherent in the energy efficiency concept and practices to bridge the energy demand and supply gap. In 2011, with support from the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the Federal Government of Nigeria through the Energy Commission of Nigeria began the implementation of a project aiming to increase the energy efficiency of a series of end use appliances. The project was designed to develop minimum energy performance standards for end use appliances, provide policy direction for Nigeria to promote energy efficiency and enhance the capacity of Nigerian stakeholders to promote energy efficiency. Since the implementation of the project began, significant achievements have been made. Through the program, the Nigerian government has developed minimum energy performance standards for lighting appliances and refrigerators. It is one thing to have energy efficiency regulations, but another to enforce the regulations. Any regulation is useless without putting an enforcement mechanism into place. To enforce the new energy efficiency regulations, testing laboratories for lighting appliances and refrigerators were established in the Standard Organization of Nigeria and the National Centre for Energy Efficiency and Conservation. National Energy Efficiency Guidelines were developed and given to the authorities to enrich existing energy policy (National Energy Policy) and develop the National Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Policy, which was approved by the Nigeria Federal Executive Council in 2015. To bridge the research and information gaps in the energy efficiency sector in Nigeria, several baseline studies were inaugurated and implemented to elicit the much-needed information to provide policy direction. These include the End-use Monitoring Study in Residential Buildings, the Nigeria Appliance Inventory Study and the Nigeria Lighting Compliance Study. To further showcase the benefits of energy efficiency practices, about one million compact fluorescent lamps were distributed in different locations in Nigeria with support from the Cuban government, leading to estimated savings of 14.8 megawatts and avoided generation of 38.9 megawatts of electricity, in addition to an estimated abatement of 233,400 tons of carbon dioxide. Furthermore, over 2000 stakeholders, mainly from relevant national agencies and NGOs, were trained on different aspects of energy efficiency. Retrofits of selected public buildings were embarked upon, including a community primary health center. 

Etiosa Uyigue,
Executive Director,Community Research and Development Centre, Nigeria

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