North American Countries to Cooperate on Appliance Standards
July 25, 2007
The North American energy ministers agreed on July 23rd to cooperate on energy efficiency standards and on energy science and technology. U.S. Secretary of Energy Samuel Bodman met with Gary Lunn, minister of Natural Resources Canada (NRC), and Georgina Kessel, Mexico's energy secretary, in Victoria, British Columbia. The ministers confirmed their commitment to further aligning energy-efficiency standards on key consumer products, noting that recent collaborative efforts had resulted in the harmonization of energy performance standards for refrigerators, air conditioners, and large electric motors. They identified seven additional energy-using products as potential candidates for harmonization and committed to strengthening trilateral cooperation on motor vehicle fuel efficiency and "standby power" consumption, that is, the energy used by electrical devices when they are switched off.
The ministers also endorsed the first-ever trilateral agreement on energy science and technology, establishing a framework to stimulate innovation and to share and help build capacity in all three countries. The ministers will work to identify specific ways to increase cooperation on research and development and to reduce barriers to the deployment of new technologies in a wide variety of areas, including biofuels, hydrogen, and electricity transmission. To further these efforts, the three countries will exchange scientific and technical personnel, who will participate in joint studies and projects. See the DOE press release and the NRC's backgrounder on the trilateral agreement.