State procurement will target the highest level of energy efficiency

The government is preparing to impose restrictions on state procurement of utilities not meeting high requirements of energy efficiency. The Ministry for Economic Development proposes to ban since 2012 procurement of products below Class A (with highest energy efficiency). Notably, the new budget does not involve serious cost increases for these needs.

The developers of the document believe that if the procurement scheme will be transparent, the transfer to products of higher energy efficiency will be implemented smoothly and without problems. Obviously, higher requirements for parties to state tenders will require special measures and extra cost from manufacturers. Now they shall have documentary proof of the energy efficiency class. In general, new "energy efficient" changes in approaches to public procurement can be viewed as a positive signal for the market, because the state remains the largest buyer in Russia. It is believed that the innovation will stimulate release of high-tech goods. Incidentally, the domestic market already has experiences of "natural" formation of demand for energy efficiency, for examples the market of windows and window profiles.

The draft order by the Ministry for Economic Development is not the first initiative of the authorities in the sphere of energy efficiency in public procurement. In accordance with the federal law "On energy saving and energy efficiency", procurement of incandescent bulbs for state and municipal needs is prohibited since the beginning of this year.

Unfortunately, until now, domestic manufacturers are not particularly willing to invest in projects aimed at improving energy efficiency of their products. Note that abroad financial incentives and bonuses offered by the state significantly affect the investment in reducing energy consumption. Therefore, according to RSEU, the state needs to have mechanisms of financial incentives for domestic producers to increase energy efficiency class of domestic products. Also, it is important to provide financial incentives to buyers of energy-efficient products, and to conduct large-scale outreach on consumer, economic and environmental benefits of such goods.