Success Story: Air Conditioning Electricity Monitoring in Sonora, Mexico
Energy efficiency policies support important goals in developing countries, such as reducing fuel imports, reducing energy cost burdens in low-income households, and reducing power sector capital requirements to meet increasing electricity demand.
The United States Agency for International Development’s (USAID’s) Energy Efficiency for Development Program (EE4D), in partnership with the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, supports planning and implementation of effective energy efficiency policies for partner countries. EE4D technical assistance tools and research projects help to identify high-priority end uses and technologies, and support the design and implementation of government regulations and initiatives to encourage their adoption.
Energy efficiency is often described by its advocates as a win-win proposition, whereby end users enjoy positive returns on investments while society gains greater energy security and environmental benefits. Adoption of energy efficiency technologies usually requires an up-front investment that pays off over time in the form of lowered energy bills. Continued political support for energy efficiency measures requires that policymakers can demonstrate both the cost-effectiveness of the investment and the relevance of the policy for national goals. For this reason, credible data about energy use, markets for technology, and related costs are indispensable components of technical analysis. Unfortunately, these data are often scarce in developing countries, posing a significant barrier to effective policy development.
EE4D worked to solve this data deficiency in Mexico by conducting a first-of-its-kind analysis on residential air conditioning use for the state of Sonora, where summer temperatures routinely approach 105ºF. This analysis, although limited in scope, provides a critical piece of evidence that will help Mexican policymakers to set effective policy. Furthermore, an economy that incorporates energy efficiency measures can address some of these problems and boost the amount of financial resources a government has at its disposal.