Following up on the previous Newsletter, BUN-CA briefly describes the basics of standardization in order to understand this process:  


Conformity assessment: This process determines the degree of conformity to a standard. It includes sampling, calibration, lab testing, certification, and verification processes, among others.


What are the benefits of implementing standards and labeling programs?

An energy efficiency standards and labeling program for electric equipment is one of the most effective policies a government can use in reducing energy consumption and achieving the goals of climate change mitigation. Reducing energy consumption leads to a decreased use of fossil fuels in power generation plants, and when done in a cost-effective manner, the following benefits can be gained at the country level:


ü       Capital investments in expanding power generation infrastructure are reduced or deferred.

ü       Energy consumption is decreased, thus resulting in economic benefits to users of standardized devices and        systems.

ü       National economic efficiency is increased.

ü       A continuous improvement behavior is encouraged in all sectors interested in a standard and/or affected by it.

ü       Preservation of natural resources, particularly non-renewable natural resources, is favored.

ü       Air pollutant emissions are reduced.


Who are involved in standardization processes?

All physical or legal persons having a stake in the field covered by a standard; their participation is fundamental to strike a balance in the consensus-reaching process of developing a standard. The main stakeholders include:


ü       National standard-setting organizations

ü       Manufacturers

ü       Distributors and importers

ü       Consumers

ü       Test laboratories

ü       Educational institutions

ü       Public management

ü       Research institutions


What are national and international standardization organizations?


International standardization organizations

These are bodies engaged in standard-setting processes and used as a reference in harmonizing national standards.

                                     Word Level

                                     International Organization for Standardization (ISO)

                                     International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC)

                                     Regional Level

                                     Pan-American Standards Commission (Comisión Panamericana de Normas Técnicas)-COPANT


National Standardization Organizations in the Region

These bodies have the purpose of leading standard-setting processes, making sure they are conducive to country social and economic development and are developed according to best internationally accepted standardization practices. Similarly, they promote quality improvement in either domestic or imported processes, products, and services designed, manufactured, transformed, used, or sold in the country.


At the Central American level, BUN-CA provides support through PEER to the following:


§         Costa Rican Technical Standards Institute, INTECO, Costa Rica.

§         National Science and Technology Council, CONACYT, El Salvador.

§         Panamanian Industrial and Technical Standards Commission, COPANIT, Panama

§         Ministry of Development, Industry, and Commerce, MIFIC, Nicaragua.

§         Guatemalan Standards Commission, COGUANOR, Guatemala

§         Honduran Science and Technology Council, COHCIT, Honduras.



Bibliography: Costa Rican Technical Standards Institute (INTECO); website:

Collaborative Labeling and Appliance Standards Program (CLASP); website:


Government Actions in Energy Saving and Standardization


Within the PEER Project framework, goverments of Central America and Mexico are carrying out actions to abate the global environmental impacts caused by hydrocarbon use in power generation. Some of these actions are described below:




Substituting Efficient Lamps in Government and Residential Sectors


ü      On September 10, 2007, sealed bid envelopes were opened in the international bidding process for the supply of 1.6 million 15-watt energy-saving compact fluorescent lamps to replace two 60-watt incandescent light bulbs per household in the residential sector. These lamps will be donated by the government of Panama throughout the nation.  This $4 million investment is estimated to result in a reduced electricity bill for Panamanian families and will be recovered in a four-month period. This project is being implemented by the Ministry of Economy and Finance with own resources, and with support from the Ministry of Government and Justice.


ü      This coming September 27, sealed bid envelopes was opened in the international bidding process for (supply and installation of) 78.000 32-watt T-8 lamps that will be used to replace an equal number of 40-watt T-12 lamps in offices and other government facilities in the Republic of Panama. This $3 million investment is estimated to be recovered in twelve months.  The project is implemented by the Ministry of Economy and Finance with its own resources.




Energy Efficiency Standardization Makes Progress in Mexico


ü      During the 34th Regular Meeting of the National Standardization Advisory Commission on Energy Resource Preservation and Rational Use (CNNPURRE), the following five definitive official Mexican standards were reported as developed in the Official Newspaper of the Federation (DOF): NOM-011-ENER-2006, central, self-contained, or split air conditioners; NOM-021-ENER-2007, room air conditioners; NOM-022-ENER-2005, commercial refrigeration: NOM-004-ENER-2005, domestic pumps; and NOM-017-ENER/SCFI-2005, self-ballasted compact fluorescent lamps.


Source: Comisión Nacional para el Ahorro de Energía (CONAE) and El Reporte de la Transmisión Energética ENTE, Nº 74, September 10, 2007.


Delivery of the Third Training Module for Engineering Firms


As a follow-up on PEER Annual Operating Plan, the Third Training Module aimed at engineering firms, consultants, and engineers on the subject of Air Conditioning and Commercial Refrigeration Systems, specifically on power-saving Best Practices, was conducted in October 2007 in El Salvador (October 04-05) and Costa Rica (October 08-09).



Regional Workshop on Incentives to Open Energy Efficiency Markets


This coming October 16, 2007, BUN-CA, with support from the Central American Environment and Development Commission (CCAD), the Energy and Environment Alliance with Central America (AEA), and the CCAD/USAID/DR-CAFTA Cooperation Agreement, and included in the implementation of the Electric Sector Energy Efficiency Policy for Central America and the Dominican Republic, will be conducting this workshop designed to strengthen the regional platform for implementing the Energy Efficiency Policy Strategy around incentive instruments for an efficient use of electricity.


This workshop is part of the Central American Strategy for Energy Efficiency developed by BUN-CA, with financial support from the Global Environment Fund, which is implemented by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP).


The event will take place at the Holiday Inn Hotel in San Jose, Costa Rica, and will be delivered by an international expert on the subject of incentives.


Best Practices Workshop, BUN-CA/HIVOS, PEEST 3 Project

Last Wednesday September 12, 2007, at El Conquistador Hotel in Managua, BUN-CA conducted the Workshop on Energy-Saving Best Practices aimed at strengthening hotelier technical capacities on energy efficiency and energy-saving issues.

The Workshop covered such subjects as electric energy saving and best practices in air conditioning, lighting, water heating, and electricity bills, and was attended by 25 people, including hotel managers, directors, and maintenance staff.