ECOWAS Energy Efficiency Policy (EEEP)

The energy system of West Africa is facing serious interrelated challenges of energy access, energy security and climate change adaptation and mitigation. Furthermore, during recent years the ECOWAS Region has undergone an energy crisis that is hampering social and economic development, and is affecting low-income population groups in particular. To address these multiple challenges, ECOWAS has taken action to adopt and implement a Regional Energy Efficiency Policy.

The policy will contribute to achieving ECOWAS’ overall development goals and specific energy sector goals, notably for energy security and energy access (as defined in the ECOWAS/UEMOA White Paper on Access to Energy Services in Peri-Urban and Rural Areas). The energy efficiency policy will complement the existing array of ECOWAS policies by addressing the challenge of making the most efficient use of the region's energy resources. Together with the policies on energy access and renewable energy, it will constitute a comprehensive ECOWAS policy framework for achieving Sustainable Energy for All, aiming for universal access by 2030. The policy also contributes to the goals of the Africa-EU Energy Partnership. It will become a part of the overall ECOWAS energy policy framework that is currently under development.

The ECOWAS energy efficiency policy framework will contribute to creating a favourable environment for private investments in energy efficiency, and will spur industrial development and employment through the reduction of energy bills. Energy efficiency will contribute to job creation, both in energy using sectors, and in the energy efficiency supply chain. Increasing energy efficiency is an integral part of the modernisation and greening of West African economies.

Energy efficiency will contribute to reliability and security of energy supply, by decreasing losses at all links in energy value chains. It will thus decrease dependency on fossil fuels.Energy efficiency will contribute to raising the standard of living for ECOWAS populations, by reducing energy bills, and making access to energy more affordable and easier to attain, both in urban and rural areas. It will facilitate provision of energy for all public services, including education, health and clean water.

Finally, energy efficiency reduces the negative environmental externalities - GHG emissions, air, soil and water pollution, land degradation - from use of energy.


The overall target of the regional energy efficiency policy, is to double, by 2020, the annual improvement in energy efficiency, to attain levels comparable to those of world leaders. This means that each year, the amount of energy needed to produce a certain quantity of goods and services will decrease by about 4%.

The specific target of the regional policy is to implement efficiency measures that free-up 2000 MW of power generation capacity by 2020, through the the following concrete actions:

  • lighting: phase out inefficient incandescent bulbs by 2020;
  • electricity distribution: reduce losses in electricity distribution, from the current range of 15% to 40%, to under 10% by 2020;
  • cooking: achieve universal access to safe, clean, affordable, efficient and sustainable cooking for the entire population of ECOWAS, by 2030;
  • standards and labels: establish an ECOWAS Technical Committee for Energy Efficiency Standards and Labelling, and adopt initial region-wide standards and labels for major energy equipment by end 2014;
  • Building Code: develop and adopt region-wide efficiency standards for buildings (e.g. building codes);
  • finance: create instruments for financing sustainable energy, including carbon finance, by the end of 2013, and in the longer term, establish a regional fund for the development and  implementation of sustainable energy projects;

The ECREEE Energy Observatory will publish data on progress in reaching these objectives.


The Strategy of the regional energy efficiency policy will add value through regional support to national efforts. The strategy focuses on policy, capacity, awareness and finance.

  • a harmonised policy, with a legal and regulatory framework in energy efficiency for the ECOWAS region, including energy efficiency labels and standards. ECOWAS will support Member States in adopting national energy efficiency targets and action plans. Policies will be designed to be gender responsive, and will aim at encouraging private investment, so as to create a regional market and regional manufacturing capacity for energy efficient technologies. Energy efficiency policies will be linked to the ECOWAS Regional Policy on Renewable Energy.
  • regional coordination of capacity building to create the necessary institutional and human skills to implement energy efficient technologies. Exchange of experience will facilitate the dissemination of lessons learned and best practices, for both public and private actors.
  • awareness raising for energy users and the multiple decision makers in the design, purchase and maintenance of  energy using equipment, from the simple cook stove to complex industrial systems. The ECREEE Observatory for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (EORE) will serve as a storehouse for information on energy efficiency technologies, potentials, investments and business contacts.
  • financial instruments to allow users to pay for energy efficient equipment through future energy savings.


The ECOWAS energy efficiency action plan is based on five flagship energy initiatives each of which includes policy, capacity building, awareness raising and financing elements.

  • Initiative on Efficient Lighting to phase out inefficient incandescent lamps, and replace them with high efficiency fluorescent or LED lamps.
  • Achieving High Performance Distribution of Electricity, by reducing commercial and technical losses in electricity distribution systems.
  • Safe, Sustainable and Affordable Cooking to ensure that the entire ECOWAS population has access to clean and efficient stoves, with an assured supply of adequate fuels.
  • Standards and Labelling Initiative to create a regional harmonised system of energy standards and energy efficiency labels.
  • Develop and adopt region-wide efficiency standards for buildings.
  • Finance for sustainability will mobilise environmental finance instruments - for Green House Gas emission reductions through Kyoto, NAMAs and voluntary markets, for ozone depleting substances through the Montreal Protocol, etc. - to support regional projects on energy efficiency and renewable energy.

The ECOWAS Energy Efficiency Policy is available in English and French