Increasing demands on the energy resources due to rapid industrialization and population growth has raised awareness in Saudi Arabia that decades of subsidized energy and profligate energy usage is no longer a viable option, neither as part of a national energy policy nor as part of its international environmental commitments. As part of its strategy to reduce wastage and preserve its natural resources, the government established the National Energy Efficiency Programme (NEEP) to initiate and promote energy efficiency measures. Its activities include energy audits, equipment standards, energy service companies, technical training and energy efficiency awareness. This paper describes the background to NEEP and reports on its activities and accomplishments over the last 5 years. It then makes some recommendations for further government action including establishing finance mechanisms, overcoming inertia, promoting transparency and the setting up of a permanent national institution for energy efficiency and conservation.
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