The Ghana Standards Authority (GSA) has hailed the Millennium Development Authority’s effort to equip it with a modern testing laboratory to be able to determine the efficiency and safety of ductless Room Air conditioners imported into the country.

Currently, the GSA has no such capacity to test all types of air conditioners and have to rely on test results and certificate of conformity from importers.

Speaking at a kick-off meeting for the construction work on a containment building for the laboratory, Professor Alex Dodoo, the Director-General of GSA, said the laboratory would make the Authority competitive in the West Africa sub-region.

“In the sub-region no one is doing anything in that area and having the ability to test the ACs for energy efficiency and safety and all things related, we believe that would make the GSA competitive,” he said.

It will also build the country’s domestic capacity to begin to explore ways to restarting, because in the past we used to produce a few, the production of our own ACs and other equipment, he said.

“For us this is going to be one used for all imported AC’s coming into the country for any purpose to be tested here. A key component of this is energy efficiency and what that means is that all inefficient, old and dangerous Air conditioners must be gotten rid of from the system,” Prof. Dodoo said.

“This whole project is about energy efficiency to ensure that ACs that are brought into the country are energy efficient and that star rating on them are genuine,” he added.

Professor Dodoo said the laboratory would not only be used for service delivery, but for training and research so that the Authority could contribute to the development of Ghana and countries within the ECOWAS.

On his part, Mr William Amuna, the Technical Controller, MiDA underscored the importance of the GSA to ensuring the adherence to standards in the country through test on various equipment.

He said under MiDA’s Compact Programme, especially one relating to energy efficiency, a decision was taken to support the Ghana Standards Authority with an AC test laboratory to be able to test all ACs that come into the country up to 12 kilo watts.

“Definitely we know very well that the cost of generation of electricity is very high and if anybody buys an inefficient air conditioner and put in the house, it consumes more energy and cost more. This project is also a means of reducing expenditure on electricity consumed by air conditioners,” Mr Amuna said.

Funds for the US$1.5million Air Conditioner Test Containment Building and the Testing Laboratory have been provided by the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), an Agency of the United States Government, under the Energy Efficiency and Demand Side Management Project of the Ghana Power Compact.

The Facility, to be constructed on the premises of the Ghana Standards Authority, will support Government’s efforts towards implementing a national programme that will enforce performance labeling of ductless RAC Systems.

It will also ensure that appliances meet a minimum efficiency performance standard (MEPS) and contribute, to the efficient use of electricity.

The Test laboratory will be equipped with a Balanced Ambient Room Calorimeter (BARC) Test Chamber for evaluation of the capacity and performance of Room Ambient Calorimeters (RACs), in accordance with the ISO 5151 Standards.

MiDA is also collaborating with the GSA on the development of Standards and Labels for 20 energy consuming electronic appliances.

The project is expected to be completed within six months.