The government is likely to transfer National Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (NEECA), an arm of Power Division, to the Ministry of Science and Technology (MoS&T) as the entity’s operational activities are cohesive with the former organisation’s functions, sources close to Minister for Science and Technology.

NEECA was established under an Act of Parliament in 2016, erstwhile known as National Energy Conservation Centre (ENERCON). NEECA was supposed to serve as a federal focal agency mandated for initiating and coordinating all energy conservation activities in different sectors of economy.Further, the major portion and relevant provisions such as under Section of the National Energy Efficiency & Conservation Act are focusing on the formulation of product standards and are linked with the approval of the National Standards Body under PSQCA.

The sources said, to develop and implement the Energy Efficiency Standard & Labelling (EES&L) programs and the Energy Conservation Building Code as per the NEECA Act, NEECA has to rely on the Ministry of Science & Technology (MoS&T) and the institutions under its administrative control like Pakistan Standards and Quality Control Authority (PSQCA), Pakistan National Accreditation Council (PNAC), Pakistan Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (PCSIR) and Pakistan Engineering Council (PEC).With the recent decisions to increase electricity tariff, accelerating the energy efficiency initiatives without delay in all sectors of the economy is the top priority of the Ministry of Science and Technology, the sources added.

Different initiatives have already been taken by the MoS&T in this regard through the departments under its administrative control. Almost all the technical initiatives of NEECA as specified in the NEECA Act are dependent on the institutions under the administrative control of MoS&T like the Minimum Energy Performance Standards (MEPS), accredited testing lab facilities, building code including the energy provisions, etc. There needs to be coherence in the timelines of PSQCA-MEPS notifications, inclusion of products in its mandatory list and the Star-Rating Regulations of the NEECA have to be issued as per their procedures laid down in the NEECA Act and Regulations.

The delays by NEECA on certain initiatives were inadmissible and are already hampering the energy efficiency initiatives taken by the MoS&T.The MoS&T, in a letter on February 02, 2022 requested Ministry of Energy (Power Division), Institutional Reforms Cell (IRC) and Ministerial Wing of Cabinet Division for their views/ comments as per rules.Ministerial Wing of Cabinet Division stated that in case both the Divisions agree with each other, the Cabinet Division has no objection to the proposal.IRC in another letter of February 08, 2022 stated that IRC supports the transfer of NEECA and suggested that possibility may be explored for future merger of NEECA with one of similar bodies of Ministry of Science & Technology (e.g., PSQCA) to ensure more efficient and economic utilization of resources.

The sources maintained that Ministry of Energy (Power Division), in its comments sent on February 17, 2022 has endorsed the proposal of Ministry of Science & Technology for placing NEECA under the administrative control of MoS&T.The sources said, operational activities of NEECA are most cohesive with institutions of MoS&T, i.e., PSQCA, PNAC, PEC and PCSIR and to enable the MoS&T to implement different energy efficiency initiatives swiftly for public interest, national energy security, minimizing the rate of increasing energy poverty and mitigation of Green House Gasses (GHG) emissions, the National Energy Efficiency & Conservation Authority should be placed under the Administrative Control of MoS&T to strengthen the existing ecosystem of quality and to enhance its capabilities towards socioeconomic development.