Morocco sets regulations for energy efficiency

Alongside plans to diversify sources, Morocco’s energy strategy has also put a strong emphasis on improving efficient usage. A big step in this regard was the creation of the National Agency for the Development of Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (Agence Nationale pour le Développement des Energies Renouvelables et de l’Efficacité Energétique, ADEREE), which is tasked with reaching renewable energy goals and fostering efficient consumption.

Part of this has focused on the development of energy efficiency regulations for both businesses and domestic consumers. One specific goal is 25-30% savings in energy efficiency by 2030. To help the country reach this, ADEREE has finalised a study pointing to 122 measures to increase efficient use of energy, targeting sectors such as construction, industry, agriculture and transport. “Even if Morocco finds oil and reduces its energy dependence, we should always pursue renewable energy policies and improve efficiency. This strategy is important not only for the economy, but also for the environment,” Said Mouline, the CEO of ADEREE, told OBG.

Making the Law

The move towards efficient energy consumption took major steps forward with law 47-09, which was adopted in September 2011, and established the need to improve energy consumption in the country and reduce its cost, both by the implementation of thermal regulations in different sectors and through the establishment of domestic energy efficiency goals.

The transition of Law 47-09 into specific norms has been deliberately slow, in part to allow the market to adjust. In its report about Morocco’s energy sector, published in late 2014, the International Energy Agency even recommended the creation of a fund to support financial incentives for industries to improve energy efficiency, with some economic incentives already on offer. There has been a progressive tightening of energy consumption regulation in sectors such as construction and industry.

Among the decrees that were implemented in 2014 was the obligation for high-energy-consumption sectors to carry out energy audits. Connected to this is a positive reinforcement measure, in which cheaper electricity tariffs will be offered to industrial energy users that agree to move part of their consumption to non-peak times.

Additional rules are currently pending approval. One is the text fixing thermo regulation standards in buildings, which has already been finalised and is set to become obligatory in 2016. Thermo regulation for the construction sector will apply to new buildings, but equally include an audit system for existing buildings. ADEREE has estimated that these measures will be able to reduce heat and air conditioning needs in buildings by 39-64% for the residential sector, and by 32-72% for businesses.


One specific decree in preparation will focus on agricultural equipment, by subsidising the acquisition of solar water pumps, to counter the large proportion of farmers in Morocco still using butane-fed gas pumps. “It makes no sense that some farmers use water pumps, which run on products that are subsidised by the state and increase our deficit, instead of using solar power,” Mouline told OBG.

According to figures from ADEREE, over 4000 solar pumps were already in use in Morocco as of late 2014, mostly in large farms. The big challenge will be to extend the use of solar pumps to smaller, subsistence farmers. Yet the Ministry of Agriculture expects that by subsidising the acquisition of the equipment, authorities will be able to help add up to 3000 solar pumps a year to farming areas.

Carrot & Stick

Putting efficiency measures into place in some of the country’s most important sectors will help reduce energy costs in the economy. Although the general legal texts already exist, implementing the specific norms will require a tactful approach, and in some cases, a balanced use of both financial incentives and regulatory enforcement.