Honorable Jimena Bronfman, Vice Minister of Energy for Chile speaks about her administration’s efforts to promoting energy efficiency to her country. Awarded the Alliance to Save Energy EEGlobal Leadership award, Bronfman discusses the importance of promoting energy efficiency within Chile and what the next steps are toward becoming a more energy efficient country.
Ben Lack: We’re here with the Honorable Jimena Bronfman, Vice Minister of Energy for Chile. Welcome to the states.
Jimena Bronfman: Welcome to you, and thank you.
Ben Lack: Thank you. Well, thanks so much for giving us some of your time. You guys are here because you’re receiving an award from the Alliance to Save Energy, the EE Visionary Award. Could you tell us a little bit about how and why you received it?
Jimena Bronfman: Well, there’s several reasons that we’re very proud of. We’re the first country in Latin America to have established thermal insulation standards for housing. We also carried out a labeling program for refrigerators and bulbs. We are creating in the short-term the National Energy Efficiency Agency which will be a permanent entity to deal with energy efficiency. And also we are preparing our plan for energy efficiency from 2010 to 2020. This plan will be announced publicly in the short-term. And the idea is to discuss this plan and to have input from all the sectors involved so we can prepare a final plan for that purpose.
Ben Lack: If you can give us a little inside scoop on what types of initiatives a national energy efficiency plan would include? I think it’d be cool to learn a little bit about that.
Jimena Bronfman: Okay. We want to establish minimum standards for cars which is a very new problem. We also will continue with the labeling program for the other appliances including houses. The National Energy Efficiency Program which is now inside the Ministry is the one that will become into an agency.
Ben Lack: Wow. And so are there certain types of numbers that you’re trying to achieve? Like a lower lessening energy consumption by a certain percentage or is it by kilowatt hours? How do you figure out what success really means?
Jimena Bronfman: Our plan is what we call 20/20 which is to have by 2020, twenty percent of our energy maintenance formed by renewables.
Ben Lack: Wow. And what types of renewables are you guys looking into?
Jimena Bronfman: We’re looking into geothermal, solar energy, wind energy, and hydro electro energy, which we have a lot. Our country has huge possibilities to develop all of these projects.
Ben Lack: So what types of things are you doing to educate the folks that live in Chile about the importance of being energy efficient and ultimately environmentally responsible?
Jimena Bronfman: We have long, several campaigns that aim to instruct the people or have them know that energy efficiency will not change their way of life. It’s not a way of going without energy but using it in a more friendly way, in a efficient way. And we’re trying for all the population to have this idea and incorporate it.
Ben Lack: And are these campaigns, campaigns you see on television or are you providing tax incentives or rebates for specific technologies?
Jimena Bronfman: All of the above.
Ben Lack: Okay. What’s working the best?
Jimena Bronfman: We just issued a new regulation on tax benefits for solar energy. We have a program, a very important program in which we provide energy audits to little enterprises, which have also financing aid, financing support from the government to evaluate their energy use and to make them aware of what their cost would be, the lower cost of production if they include efficient energy in their processes.
Ben Lack: So final question. Now that you have a standardized energy assessment program, how do you implement that into the marketplace to make sure that it’s actually being used?
Jimena Bronfman: We are going to build pilot projects in all of Chile, depending on the resources we have because we’re a very, long narrow land with desert in the North and lots of water in the South. So we expect to have pilot programs, be it successful, so investors can be interested in investing.
Tags: Alliance to Save Energy, chile energy efficiency, daily energy news, daily energy report, ee global leadership award, energy legislation, energy news, energy report, jimena bronfman, lighting, renewable energy, vice minister of energy