BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN — Brunei will enforce new laws to promote the use of energy-efficient electrical appliances in June 2022, the energy minister announced on Thursday.

YB Dato Seri Setia Dr Hj Mat Suny Hj Md Hussein said the government has drafted the Energy Efficiency (Standards and Labelling) Order 2021.

The new regulations will benefit consumers as it will help cut their utility bills through reduced electricity consumption, he said during the Brunei Mid-Year Conference and Exhibition.

The minister added that the energy efficiency standards would help Brunei reduce energy intensity by 45 percent from 2005 levels over the next 15 years.

Energy efficiency standards specify minimum energy performance requirements of electrical products to cut power use and greenhouse gas emissions.

The Ministry of Energy will hold roadshows and consultations with relevant agencies, the business community and consumers, before rolling out the new rules, YB Dato Dr Hj Mat Suny said.

BSP’s 3.3 MW solar plant in Seria. Photo: Infofoto

Shift to renewable energy gathers speed

The government is ramping up its transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy sources, setting a target of achieving at least 30 percent renewable energy capacity in the total power generation mix by 2035. 

The minister said Brunei Shell Petroleum’s 3.3 megawatt solar plant in Seria and Berakas Power Company’s 187 kilowatt solar photovoltaic system will contribute to the reduction of about 200 tonnes of emissions every year.

To date, Brunei has reached a renewable energy installed capacity of about 4.9 megawatts.

All four districts are expected to operate solar power plants within the next five years, including a 30 MW solar farm in Kampung Sungai Akar.

YB Dato Dr Hj Mat Suny said the Department of Electrical Services had taken steps towards renewable energy, such as installing a 100 kilowatt solar photovoltaic system at the Temburong District Office recently.

The department has also installed 75 units of solar-powered LED street lights along Kampung Perdayan in Temburong.

Decommissioning of ageing oil pipelines

The energy minister added that an increasing number of ageing oil pipelines that have fallen out of use will be decommissioned.

The energy ministry introduced decommissioning and restoration guidelines for the upstream sector in 2017 to ensure all operators conduct decommissioning activities in a timely and responsible manner.

YB Dato Dr Hj Mat Suny said the Petroleum Authority of Brunei Darussalam will issue decommissioning guidelines for the downstream sector in the near future.

The final week of MYCE 2021, themed “Energy Transition: Towards a Sustainable Future”, features talks on renewable energy policy and development, as well as net metering, which allows consumers to sell excess solar power to the national grid.

An exhibition is also open to the public at the International Convention Centre, showcasing the latest renewable energy technologies, energy-efficient products and advisory services.