According to the International Energy Agency, energy efficiency constitutes in Asia, alongside the deployment of renewable energy, one of the two fundamental leverage points required to achieve the objectives of the Paris Climate Agreement. However, in the absence of a well-defined regulatory framework and knowledge about the energy consumption of buildings, how can energy efficiency emerge as a priority? One solution has emerged.
In Cambodia, the demand for electricity has increased tenfold over the last 15 years, a consequence of rapid population and economic growth. There are environmental challenges induced by this growth, as the country's energy mix is far from being decarbonized. Moreover, the country has to deal with the instability of its electricity network, high electricity prices and frequent power cuts. These are all reasons that call for a review of energy management as a whole and a focus on the most effective short and mid-term solutions.
Energy efficiency initiatives can include various components, ranging from major renovations requiring large investment, better management of existing systems, and changing end-user behavior. Currently in Cambodia, 30% of the energy used in buildings is wasted. Although renovation work can significantly improve the energy efficiency and result in a decrease in energy consumption, it requires a significant investment. Adapting existing systems and influencing behavior are the fastest and most economical ways to reduce energy consumption in buildings. To leverage these two approaches to the Cambodian energy efficiency issue, Cecile Dahome and Frantz Vaganay created an energy-saving competition between buildings, the Cambodia Energy Efficiency Competition (CEE Comp).
So what is CEE Comp? It is a voluntary and fun competition designed to encourage participants to change their behaviors in a sustainable – green and long-term - way. For 12 months, the candidates will track their energy consumption and evaluate the effect of the small behaviour changes such as adjustment of air conditioning, lighting equipment, appliance programming.
The concept of CEE Comp is supported by the Cambodia Climate Change Alliance, and is based on the French competition, CUBE, which resulted in significant energy savings of 12% on average, without the need for major investment. In addition to the energy efficiency gains associated with this initiative, Cecile Dahomé and Frantz Vaganay wish to leverage the knowledge that will be created on the energy profile of buildings in Cambodia to inform public policies and propose energy efficiency measures consistent with the needs of the sector.
To learn more about the project: www.ceecomp.org