Argentina makes fast strides on energy efficiency

21 Dec 2017

Argentina has emerged as a regional advocate for energy efficiency over the past two years. It all began in late 2015, when Argentina’s newly elected President Mauricio Macri raised energy efficiency to a national priority and established the Under-Secretariat for Energy Savings and Energy Efficiency within the Ministry of Energy and Mines. Since then, the country has gone from strength to strength in developing and implementing energy efficiency policies. In this article, the IPEEC Newsletter takes a closer look at some of the country’s key domestic and international energy efficiency actions.

Domestic developments in energy efficiency

Argentina’s policy achievements on the domestic front are many. Driven by a national target to reduce final energy consumption by 11% by 2030, the government has deployed a number of new energy efficiency measures across various areas:

  • In industry, the government aims to fulfill the sector’s energy savings potential by building skills and raising awareness. To do so, it has launched soft credit lines for SMEs[1], training courses, awards campaigns, and will roll out an Energy Efficiency Network for companies in the coming months.
  • In the appliances sector, four new voluntary labels were introduced in 2017, with another seven existing ones made compulsory, bringing the total number of mandatory labels to 11 and Minimum Energy Performance Standards (MEPS) to 10. The government intends to continue increasing both the coverage and stringency of standards and labels over time.
  • In transport, the government has: worked to develop the first energy efficiency labels for light-duty vehicles, providing basic information to help consumers in their purchasing decisions; continued implementation of eco-driving programmes as a way to raise awareness on the impact of personal behaviour on energy consumption; and cooperated with a number of countries on efficiency and fuel quality standards, among other issues, with the aim of potentially formulating new freight regulations in the future.
  • In public lighting, the government is helping municipalities and provinces save money by directly subsidising technology upgrades. To date, the scheme has assisted 68 communities to save 500 million pesos by installing a total of 70,000 LEDs in local areas.[2]
  • On buildings, the Ministry is collaborating with various provinces to collect statistics on households’ energy consumption, including through a pilot project in Santa Fe covering 500 households. The statistics will serve to develop a national baseline data set which in turn will inform future policies for this sector.
  • On outreach, the government is implementing awareness raising campaigns to engage citizens and develop their understanding of the costs of producing and using energy. The 2017 campaign – which encouraged individuals to set their air conditioners at maximum 24 degrees – reached around 34 million people nationwide. A similar campaign was launched the previous winter to raise awareness on the use of gas in homes.

This impressive list of policy achievements highlights the remarkable advances made by Argentina in recent years. The government’s next major step will be to present a new National Law for Energy Efficiency to Congress in early 2018, currently being developed by the Ministry.

Efficient public lighting is currently being rolled out in Argentinian cities and localities

Regional and international energy efficiency cooperation

Argentina’s national energy efficiency work is complemented by regional and international activities which allow the country to both learn from and contribute to other nations’ experiences deploying energy efficiency.

On 23-24 November 2017, the government held the Second National Forum for Energy Efficiency in Buenos Aires, bringing together hundreds of participants and over 30 speakers from across countries and backgrounds to discuss national and international energy efficiency issues. In December, Argentina also hosted the OLADE Energy Week – a series of regional events for members of the Latin American Energy Organisation (OLADE), which showcased cooperative energy efficiency efforts such as the BIEE Programme[3]. Run by the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (UN ECLAC), with the support of France and Germany, the programme assists Argentina and regional states to develop energy efficiency indicators to better track and inform existing and future energy efficiency policies. Multilateral initiatives such as these are important mechanisms for Argentina to further its knowledge and capacity on specific topics, for instance on industrial energy management [EMWG], heavy-duty vehicles [TTG], energy efficiency finance [EEFTG] and efficient appliances and equipment [SEAD] – areas in which it collaborates through IPEEC Task Groups under the G20 Energy Efficiency Leading Programme.

Members of the Under-Secretariat for Energy Savings and Energy Efficiency at the Second National Forum on Energy Efficiency in Buenos Aires, 23-24 November 2017


For Argentina, energy efficiency has a significant role to play in mitigating climate change and improving people’s lives, not least by helping to increase consumers’ purchasing power, enhancing business competiveness, and boosting economic productivity. Its domestic and international activities in this area are a testament to the importance Argentina places on progressing energy efficiency. The coming year will no doubt see more exciting developments as the country takes on the 2018 G20 Presidency, which will feature energy efficiency on its agenda as a key priority of the working group on energy transitions. Looking at the fast strides Argentina has made so far, the new Presidency is in a sound position to make the next G20 a success for energy efficiency.


[1] This is through the Argentinian Fund for Energy Efficiency, FAEE, totaling USD 4.3 million.

[2] This has been led through the ‘Plan Alumbrado Eficiente’, in English: Plan for Efficient Lighting.

[3] ‘Base de Indicadores para la Eficencia Energetica’, in English ‘Energy Efficiency Indicators Database’.