ECLAC notes progress in Central American energy efficiency

The Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) is noting the progress made in energy efficiency by a majority of Latin American countries. In Central America, Guatemala, El Salvador, and Nicaragua have all drafted bills to regulate energy efficiency. Costa Rica has the oldest law in the region, in force since 1994. 

Nineteen countries in the region participate in the program, Base of Energy Efficiency Indicators for Latin America and the Caribbean (BIEE), which intends to generate indicators that determine the evolution of national policies for energy efficiency. Many countries have adjusted their political, regulatory, and institutional frameworks to promote energy efficiency. 

It’s not one size fits all: each country has a different energy consumption profile. Transportation consumes more than 40 percent in Costa Rica and Ecuador. On the other hand, residential consumption was 45 percent in Nicaragua, followed by El Salvador with almost 30 percent. Honduras made habitual use of solar panels, which raised the energy consumption of the population.

The ECLAC report indicated that, despite an improvement over previous studies, there is still a lack of continuity on the part of government institutions in the promotion and development of energy efficiency.

In addition, the high costs and lack of availability of specialized technologies make it difficult to save energy and limit access to the majority of the population.