Barrier Removal to the Cost-Effective Development and Implementation of Energy Efficiency (BRESL)

The Challenge

Electricity use across Asia and China in particular is growing rapidly, with growth rates over the period 1999-2004 ranging from 4.9%-12.3% annually. This expansion in demand has placed significant strain upon China’s electricity network. However, at the project’s outset the business environment in China was not conducive to easy expansion of energy supplies. Mounting pressure on electricity investment may prevent the country from achieving its other developmental goals as supply continues to fall short of demand.

The Response

In response UNDP and the National Development Reform Commission embarked upon a joint project. It seeks to remove existing barriers to improvement in China’s electricity supply and usage. Measures taken include:

•    Providing support for BRESL countries to develop legal and regulatory frameworks;
•    Strengthening institutions and developing capacities, including training, regional technical working groups, strengthening China’s testing and certification infrastructure, and improving data collection and reporting;
•    Assisting  manufacturers to better understand standards and labels to improve products and profits;
•    Promoting regional and national coordination and information sharing through a regional ES&L website;
•    Undertaking several national level pilot projects to raise consumer awareness about efficient products and increase sales.


The BRESL project was rolled out in  China, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Pakistan, Thailand and Vietnam, focusing on seven product categories initially -  refrigerators, room air conditioners, electric motors, ballasts for fluorescent tube lamps (FTLs), electric fans, compact fluorescent lamps and rice cookers. In China, four of these (CFL, rice cookers, fans, and motors) are now subject to internationally harmonised Energy Efficiency Standards. It has also been determined that harmonised testing protocols are feasible for every category expect for FTL ballasts.

The project has also led to the adoption of a new and improved appliance and equipment energy efficiency labelling scheme. It is hoped that this labelling scheme can also be harmonised with international standards, although this has not been accomplished yet.

The policy and legislative basis for the Energy Standards and Labelling programme in China has been fully implemented and is now operational. This has gone hand in hand with institutional and organisational capacity building, strengthening the project’s implementation and sustainability. 

Who finances it?

Donor Amount
GEF US$ 35,880,900
Government US$ 24,020,900
In-kind US$ 4,060,000

UNDP Around the world

You are at UNDP China 
Go to UNDP Global