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Issues & Concerns

Summary of Issues & Concerns Regarding the Application of EE Technologies in the Buildings Sector in Malaysia
Policy/Regulatory
  • The EE section of Energy Commission (ST) is essentially non-operational at present. Regulations and other supportive measures promoting energy efficiency and energy management are not developed and implemented.
  • The current voluntary code of practice for EE building design, MS 1525:2007, has not yet been made mandatory through incorporation in the Unified Building Bylaws (UBBL) despite various efforts to this end over the last 5 years.
  • There are no regulations or mandatory legislation in place that support Energy Efficiency in the building sector.
  • Subsidized energy prices skew the market, and furthermore it is not clear that electricity tariffs give enough incentive for spontaneous EE project development and implementation.
  • There is no clear system to monitor, gather, analyze and disseminate information on developments and progress on energy efficiency. This hampers not only awareness in general but also the development of effective policies and targets, as well as making it neigh impossible to assess whether or not existing initiatives are successful or not and thus whether or not to continue funding, strengthen it, or redirect it to other, more effective, measures.
Institutional
  • There is no strong integrated energy policy or strategy by GOM to guide activities and investments. Statements on EE in 9th Malaysia Plan are general and without distinct targets.
  • Research and educational institutions dealing with EE in buildings are few and generally under-resourced.
  • Energy Efficiency is dealt with by numerous ministries, departments, authorities (e.g. MEGTW, PWD, Min. Housing, Min Health, Min. Defense, ST, local authorities etc.) and institutions (e.g. Universities, CETREE, PTM, etc.) with little coordination of efforts. This is linked to the fact that there is no strong overarching energy efficiency policy or strategy by GOM.
Technical

  • Although advanced building materials are generally available they are often imported which adds to their cost as well as to the time to acquire them. There is limited demand for these materials in the local market and the local manufacturers have not found it sufficiently attractive to start local production.
  • The technical capacity of local professionals to carry out energy efficiency projects is limited in the sense that there are very few professionals in the market with the necessary skills and knowledge. As with many market-driven issues the lack of a strong demand and stable market for EE building services has the effect of limiting the available expertise to a niche.
Information and Awareness
  • There is a general lack of awareness of the importance of EE in buildings, as well as of the opportunities for implementing EE in buildings, amongst decision makers in the building sector.
  • There have been few, if any, efforts to raise and maintain awareness on EE in buildings. Some general efforts have been made mainly on energy management (e.g. by ST and CETREE), but there has been a distinct lack of a sustained targeted effort towards decision makers, professionals and financing institutions.
  • There is no easily accessible information on building EE – comprehensive real life case studies; technology demonstrations and information; index of professional services and suppliers; financing information/opportunities; information offices with professional experts to guide and support e.g. building owners or developers; No easily available regular and sufficiently detailed up-to-date statistics and energy performance information for buildings for comparison and benchmarking.
  • There are few real life building projects that demonstrate how to go about making a building energy efficient in a cost effective manner (both new builds and retrofit projects). The few examples that exist are all prestigious office building projects, which makes it harder for the general building developer/client to relate to them and see that such technologies, methods and results are also implementable in more commonplace projects and does not come at an unaffordable additional cost.
Market
  • ESCOs have difficulties in generating sufficient commercial volume for their activities. Basically most ESCOs operating in Malaysia are very small. Because of their smallness ESCOS do not have sufficient resources to make financially and technically attractive offers to potential clients (i.e. where the ESCO provides financing, technical expertise and project implementation). Since energy efficiency is not generally seen as a priority the market for ESCOs remain small and financing institutions reluNPMnt to provide stable financing (RE market: there is limited awareness of the importance of, and possibilities for EE in buildings; electricity prices remain relatively low hence energy costs are a small share of Total costs; there is no legal/regulatory imperative etc). This has led to a vicious circle where it is difficult for the ESCOs to attract technical expertise and funding, which in turn makes it even more difficult for them to make attractive offers, which again undermine their business.
  • Although advanced building materials are generally available they are often imported which adds to their cost as well as to the time to acquire them. The main barrier seems to be that because there is such a limited demand for these materials in the local market the local manufacturers have not found it sufficiently attractive to start local production. This is another example of a vicious circle that needs to be broken in order to promote EE in buildings locally.
  • The technical capacity of professionals to carry out energy efficiency projects is limited in the sense that there are very few professionals in the market with the necessary skills and knowledge. Those that are available are capable enough but occupy a niche segment of the construction industry. As with many market-driven issues the lack of a strong demand and stable market for EE building services has the effect of limiting the available expertise to a niche. To break this niche status the market needs to be developed.

Source: BSEEP Project Documents

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