Call for strengthening energy-efficient practices

Wani Roslan

Investing in Energy Efficient (EE) measures in buildings can yield substantial energy savings, while supporting economic growth, sustainable development and creating jobs, said Deputy Permanent Secretary (Energy and Power) at the Ministry of Energy, Manpower and Industry (MEMI) Pengiran Haji Jamra Weira bin Pengiran Haji Petra.

Greater use of energy-efficient appliances and technologies, combined with renewable energy are cost-effective ways of enhancing the security of energy supply.

These were shared the deputy permanent secretary (Energy and Power) during the official launch of the 1st National Energy Manager Training Workshop for government officials in Brunei Darussalam yesterday.

The deputy permanent secretary then disclosed that government and commercial buildings have the highest levels of energy consumption in Brunei Darussalam, amounting to 49 per cent, with electricity being used as the primary energy source.

“According to a study being conducted by Mitsubishi Research Institute (MRI) in 2011, the largest energy-consuming appliances in buildings are the cooling systems because a large number of air-conditioners and chillers are diffused in buildings, most of which are used for long hours throughout the year,” he said.

“Investing in EE measures in buildings can yield substantial energy savings, while supporting economic growth, sustainable development and creating jobs. Greater use of energy-efficient appliances and technologies, combined with renewable energy are cost effective ways of enhancing the security of energy supply.

Deputy Permanent Secretary (Energy and Power) at the Ministry of Energy, Manpower and Industry (MEMI) Pengiran Haji Jamra Weira bin Pengiran Haji Petra. PHOTO: WANI ROSLAN

“Since buildings have a long lifespan, energy-inefficient buildings will waste significant amounts of energy for several decades. From this, reducing energy consumption in buildings for the purpose of improving energy security and sustainability is an urgent issue and extremely worthwhile to pursue in Brunei Darussalam.”

He also added that MEMI, in collaboration with the Ministry of Development (MoD), launched the EEC Building Guidelines in May 2015 that serves to provide minimum requirements for the energy-efficient design and construction of buildings.

“We are planning to extend the mandatory requirement of the guideline to all commercial buildings by next year. Brunei Darussalam, via the MoD, has also launched the green building rating system known as Brunei Accredited Green Unified Seal (BAGUS) in 2016. The Energy Efficiency Index (EEI), which is set under BAGUS for government office buildings in Brunei Darussalam, is 175 kilowatt hours per square metre per year,” he said.

“Therefore, it is vital for all ministries to ensure that the EEI of their buildings are in accordance with the EEI which has been set under BAGUS.”

The deputy permanent secretary further said that the training workshop aims to provide an in-depth, comprehensive learning and problem-solving platform towards a broader understanding of the latest energy cost reduction techniques and strategies, “and it also serves in improving the performance and increasing the awareness of the individuals responsible for energy use in buildings. It is an integral component of any effective energy management strategy, and is a key energy management best practice.”

“After successfully completing this training workshop, all focal points from each government ministry shall be officially recognised as National Energy Manager. The roles of the National Energy Managers are to monitor and manage the energy efficiency of a facility or organisation.

“They implement conservation measures, monitor energy consumption, assess business decisions for sustainability and seek out opportunities for increasing energy efficiency. In parallel, all certified National Energy Managers are also accountable to conduct in-house Training of Trainers (TOT), in order to establish certified Energy Managers in all departments under their respective ministries,” the deputy permanent secretary said.