Energy Efficiency Standards and Labels in Colombia (CONOCE) Programme
Policy measure

According to EEDAL (2003), the Energy Efficiency Standards and Labels in Colombia (CONOCE) Programme (Programa Colombiano de Normalización, Acreditación, Certificación y Etiquetado de Equipos de Uso Final de Energía) was established by the Colombian government in 2001. The programme is implemented and coordinated by the Unidad de Planeación Minero-Energética (UPME) of the Ministry of Mines and Energy, in co-operation with the Colombian Institute for Standards and Certification (ICONTEC), other government institutions, manufacturers, retailers and universities.

With the objective to realize energy efficiency potentials of optimizing the energy performance of end-use equipment within all socio-economic sectors in Colombia and to foster awareness of energy efficiency in the population, the government introduced the CONOCE programme with a strong emphasis on awareness (ECLAC, 2010).


According to EEDAL (2003), the so-called “cultural strategy” of the programme provides strategies and materials for consumer awareness and education.


The following challenges have been identified by GEF (2011): “Manufacturers and other suppliers of appliances and equipment have a crucial role to play in transforming the market for energy efficiency products. Consumers are not aware of energy efficiency aspects and make their purchase decision on investment cost rather than life-cycle cost considerations.”


GEF (2008) highlights that “CONOCE provides an adequate starting point for an effective market transformation strategy based on mandatory energy efficiency labeling and MEPS”. Moreover, “due to the achievements of the CONOCE Programme [so far], Colombia appears to be the country with the most advanced EE S&L activities of the Andean region”. GEF (2008) therefore argues that the Colombian experience should be transferred to other countries in the region, creating synergies with similar projects proposed in Bolivia, Ecuador, Peru and Venezuela. Thereby, duplication of efforts and investments in infrastructure could potentially be avoided.

The programme’s global environmental benefits are: the project (in its entirety) is expected to result in energy savings of 135.7 TWh and a corresponding reduction of approximately 20.3 Mt of CO2-equivalent over a period of 20 years (GEF, 2008). Other expected benefits of the project include “the alignment of the national appliance industry to international standards, restrictions to the import of low-efficiency products from other countries and consumer benefits due to lower energy bills and net savings over the lifetime of appliances and equipment.” (GEF, 2008).


ECLAC (UN Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean), 2010. Energy efficiency in Latin America and the Caribbean: situation and outlook. Chile: United Nations.

EEDAL, 2003. Energy efficiency standards and labeling of household appliances in the Andean Community – national programmes and the prospects of regional harmonization. 3rd International Conference on Energy Efficiency in Domestic Appliances and Lighting. 1-3 October 2003, Turin, Italy. Available at:

GEF, 2008. Energy Efficiency Standards and Labels in Colombia. Project Identification Form (PIF). Washington, DC., Available at:

GEF, 2011. Energy Efficiency Standards and Labels in Colombia. Request for CEO endorsement-approval. Washington, DC. Available at: