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Energy Efficiency and Conservation: From Policy Planning to Action and the Role of Media and Communication

02/07/2024

On the morning of June 25, 2024, in Hanoi, the Department of Energy Efficiency and Sustainable Development under the Ministry of Industry and Trade organized a seminar titled "Energy Efficiency and Conservation: From Policy Planning to Action and the Role of Media and Communication."

Opening the seminar, Mr. Trinh Quoc Vu, Deputy Director of the Department of Energy Efficiency and Sustainable Development, highlighted the influential role of the media in spreading the adoption of energy efficiency. He noted, "In recent years, with the active involvement of media agencies, the practice of using energy efficiently has strongly resonated, helping the community transform awareness into action, and from action into habit."
This seminar is part of the Vietnam Low Emission Energy Program II (VLEEP II), implemented by the Department of Energy Efficiency and Sustainable Development in coordination with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). It was the first in a series of professional media engagement activities focusing on energy efficiency and conservation (EEC) energy sectors. The seminar was conducted both offline and online.
Mr. Trinh Quoc Vu, Deputy Director of the Department of Energy Saving and Sustainable Development, Ministry of Industry and Trade, delivered the opening speech at the discussion.
“The Ministry of Industry and Trade hopes that, through their pens, journalists and reporters will continue to propagate and disseminate the Government's guidelines and policies on efficiency and conservation use of energy. Discovering advanced examples and initiatives in energy efficiency and conservation usage. Reflects the difficulties and challenges in implementing energy efficiency and conservation usage. From these articles and information, it helps the authorities, especially the Ministry of Industry and Trade, advise the Government as well as competent authorities to promulgate and adjust policies to further promote economical and efficient use of energy", Mr. Trinh Quoc Vu emphasized.
Participants at the event are experts and journalists with extensive experience in the field of energy efficiency and conservation.
There are many expert attend the event such as: Mr. Le Anh Tuan - Head of Faculty of Economics and Management, Electricity University; Mr. Nguyen Anh Tuan - Permanent Vice Chairman of Vietnam Energy Association; Mr. Dao Nhat Dinh - Science Council, Vietnam Energy Magazine. Mr. Ha Dang Son - Director of the Clean Energy and Green Growth Research Center (Vietnam Union of Science and Technology Associations) participated online.
Agree on the concept/role of energy efficiency and conservation usage
Mr. Nguyen Anh Tuan, Standing Vice President of the Vietnam Energy Association, said: Energy conservation and efficiency  stands for the rational use and organization of energy to reduce consumption while still achieving set goals. This concept encompasses both conservation and usage, meaning it advocates for sensible use rather than abstention. The idea is clear and comprehensive, offering a full understanding that cannot be simplified further. It highlights the dual aspects of reducing unnecessary energy use while maximizing efficiency in essential applications, reflecting a balanced approach to energy management.
Mr. Nguyen Anh Tuan - energy expert, Permanent Vice Chairman of Vietnam Energy Association shared at the seminar.
Mr. Dao Nhat Dinh - Energy and environment expert, Science Council, Vietnam Energy Magazine shared: For Vietnamese people, just emphasizing “efficiency” is not enough, so the word "conservation" will immediately evaluate the effectiveness of the overall assessment of the economy. Usually rich economies will attack more effectively than poor economies, saving directly affects our interests.
Mr. Le Anh Tuan, Head of the Faculty of Economics and Management, Electricity University, said that with a market economy, priority is given to efficiency, not cutting corners. With Vietnam's current economy, we should use electricity economically and effectively. Therefore, it is necessary to balance between savings and efficiency.
Mr. Le Anh Tuan, Head of Faculty of Economics and Management, Electricity Power University.
Sharing more about the use of the phrase “Energy Efficiency and Conservation” in the mass media, Mr. Ha Dang Son - Director of the Centre For Energy And Green Growth Research said that putting "conservation" first is because of developing policies process, we highlight "saving is a national policy". For developed countries, they don't use long phrases like we do but cut out the "savings/conservation" part. Experts from the US, India,... all mentioned that using energy efficiency and conservation is one of the effective policies. A very basic solution is still to have an energy management and effective energy use policy.
The discussion creates an open forum for reporters and journalists to share and accompany the VNEEP3.
The importance of communication on energy efficiency and conservation
Mr. Trinh Quoc Vu, Deputy Director of the Department of Energy Efficiency and Sustainable Development, Ministry of Industry and Trade, stated: In the Law on Using Energy Efficiency and Conservation and the related regulations and policies, there are provisions for propaganda and education to implement energy-saving and efficient solutions. This proves that media plays an important role. It is necessary to disseminate methods of energy efficiency and conservation to all subjects, including key energy-using facilities.
Through the VNEEP3, the Department of Energy Efficiency and Sustainable Development, Ministry of Industry and Trade is making efforts to enhance media activities and highly values the role of the propaganda network in collaborating with management agencies. Through this seminar, the Ministry of Industry and Trade hopes to listen to the difficulties and challenges to find effective solutions for communication, attract community interest, and achieve the goals of VNEEP3
'I highly value the role of journalists in conveying the content of using energy economically and efficiently to the entire society. The Ministry of Industry and Trade looks forward to continuing to receive the support of the media and journalists in the future.' - Mr. Trinh Quoc Vu emphasized."
Need to strengthen propaganda on energy efficiency and conservation
Mr. Nguyen Anh Tuan noted that the VNEEP3 program has a clear energy-saving goal. The numbers may seem abstract but are reasonable. In 2022, electricity accounted for 28.7% of final energy use, and coal 27%... The increasing electrification due to the energy transition trend means that saving electricity is at the core of energy efficiency and conservation usage.
"Nowadays, people have become more aware of energy usage. Although more energy-using devices are used than in the past, they are used more efficiently, which demonstrates the role and effectiveness of communication," said Mr. Nguyen Anh Tuan.
Mr. Dao Nhat Dinh, an energy and environment expert, Council of Science, Vietnam Energy Magazine.
Mr. Dao Nhat Dinh believes that high electricity demand is inevitable during growth periods. Therefore, it is necessary to promote more efficient and conservation electricity usage. Propaganda should include specific symbols like using products with energy labels and avoiding misleading advertisements about no-consumption devices. Through proper communication, there will be better guidance on purchasing and using electrical devices.
Mr. Le Anh Tuan from the Electric Power University also mentioned several evaluations regarding energy usage efficiency and behavior. This is the premise for establishing a culture of energy use. Media plays a significant role in forming this culture. Technology is crucial, but recognizing the importance of actions is essential for applying technology effectively.
From the initial phase of the VNEEP program (2006-2010), the role of media was highly valued, promoting various energy programs and energy devices. From this phase, the Electric Power University also incorporated energy efficiency content into its training programs. "I highly value the role of media in this field and believe it should be further enhanced. The Electric Power University will also strengthen its curriculum to include more on energy efficiency and conservation (EEC) usage," emphasized Mr. Le Anh Tuan.
Journalist Tran Thi Huong from the Industry and Trade Newspaper speaks at the event.
According to experts, to enhance the role of the media in promoting EEC at both macro and micro levels, short-term and long-term, it is important to effectively manage state tasks regarding EEC. Additionally, there needs to be synchronization of content and diversification of propaganda forms, specifically: attention should be paid to developing plans, campaigns, and propaganda programs according to the scale, target audience, timing, and specific content for each media agency and the entire national media system with focused, thematic, regular, and substantial content. Especially, there needs to be innovation in diverse and appropriate forms of propaganda.
In the field of EEC in particular, the media, led by reporters and journalists, has been performing its role very well. Strengthening the role of the media in promoting EEC involves intensifying propaganda across all types of media and journalistic works to help the public and businesses understand, remember, follow, and apply management and technical measures to reduce losses and energy consumption of devices and equipment while still meeting the needs and objectives set for production and life.
In the coming period, the Ministry of Industry and Trade will continue to organize activities to share expertise with reporters and journalists nationwide. The Organizing Committee hopes to create an open forum for reporters and journalists to share, openly contribute, and accompany the Ministry of Industry and Trade in the task of using energy efficiently and effectively in particular, and in the energy sector in general.
Along with its development, Vietnam has early prioritized the use of energy efficiently and effectively, considering it a significant aspect of Vietnam's energy development policy. Several legal documents related to the activity of using energy efficiently and effectively have been issued over time, including:
  • Decision No. 79/QD-TTG dated April 14, 2006, by the Prime Minister on the National Target Program on Energy Efficiency and Conservation for the period 2006-2015.
  • Decision No. 280/QD-TTG dated March 13, 2019, on the Vietnam National Energy Efficiency Progamme for the period 2019-2030.
  • The Energy Efficiency and Conservation Law (Law 50 - enacted by the 12th National Assembly on June 17, 2010), which came into effect in 2011. To implement this Law, a system of related legal documents including Decrees, Circulars, Decisions, etc., has been issued, related to standards and regulations (over 60 standards and regulations managing industrial and household devices, with 26 devices and vehicles) providing specific guidelines.
  • Resolution No. 55-NQ/TW by the Politburo (issued on February 11, 2020) on the strategic direction for the development of national energy to 2030, vision to 2045, states: "Using energy efficiently and protecting the environment must be seen as a crucial national policy and the responsibility of the whole society" (excerpt from Resolution 55).
  • On May 15, 2023, the Prime Minister issued Decision No. 500/QD-TTG approving the National Power Development Plan for the period 2021-2030, vision to 2050 (PDP 8). This Plan affirms that the solution to using electricity efficiency and conservation is one of the solutions and resources to successfully implement this Plan.
  • On July 26, 2023, the Prime Minister issued Decision No. 893/QD-TTG approving the General Energy Plan for the period 2021-2030, vision to 2050. The decision emphasizes the role of using electricity efficiency and conservation, with the goal of saving about 8-10% energy by 2030 and about 15-20% by 2050 compared to the baseline scenario.
  • Recognizing the substantial potential for electricity savings, on May 7, 2020, the Prime Minister issued Directive No. 20/CT-TTG on strengthening electricity savings for the period 2020 - 2025. Subsequently, on June 8, 2023, the Prime Minister again issued Directive No. 20/CT-TTG on enhancing electricity savings for the period 2023-2025 and subsequent years.
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