The seventh National Conference on Energy Efficiency opened in the Mekong Delta province of Tien Giang, highlighting the efforts of ministries and localities up and down the country to conserve energy.

According to Dang Huy Cuong, Head of the Ministry of Industry and Trade’s General Department of Energy, 14 centres for energy saving were established nationwide, together with a number of other centres for technology transfer and advice.

Power saving measures were carried out in most localities, contributing to the success of the National Target Programme on Efficient and Economical Use of Energy, he noted.

Meanwhile, Trinh Quoc Vu, Head of the Department’s Office for Science, Technology and Energy Saving, said at present more than 3,000 household and 10 industrial biogas facilities were operational in 26 cities and provinces.

At the same time, over 600,000 solar water heating were put into operation, along with more than 400 energy saving measures applied by businesses, he said.

Energy saving audits were carried out at 200 businesses, he noted, adding that more than 100 staff members and 45 experts from 55 companies participated in training courses on bringing energy management in line with the ISO 50001 standard.

However, Vu also highlighted some shortcomings of the programme, including poor access to preferential loans, the low capacity of energy saving centres, and a lack of coordination between relevant agencies.

The National Target Programme on Efficient and Economical Use of Energy was approved by the Prime Minister in 2006, while the Law on Efficient and Economical Use of Energy was put forth on January 1, 2011.

In the 2012-2015 period, the programme aims to reduce energy consumption in energy-intensive industries by 10 percent and national energy consumption by 5-8 percent.

In addition, the Ministry of Industry and Trade also certified 6,215 products in 13 categories as low energy consumer goods, which will now feature a mandatory label declaring the level of energy efficiency, including TVs, lamps, air conditioning systems and washing machines.-VNA