From EECCHI Public Awards: The Contests are Over But Challenges? Never!

Bang Konser ,the fictitious energy conservation hero

It’s been a  long time since the day  I attended Energy Efficiency and Conservation Clearing House Indonesia (EECCHI) event a few months ago. It was when the video contest winners from several schools were announced.  The venue was Es Teler 77 on Jl. Adityawarman South Jakarta. I definitely love the concept which didn’t involve artificial lightings and air conditioning. It just matched the energy conservation and efficiency principles so well.

That made me expect something more than that for the closing biggest event. I imagined something more eco-friendly or an open venue with fresh air and less electricity used. But then upon reading the invite, I realized the awarding event this time was held in a ball room of a hotel around Mega Kuningan, Jakarta. Feeling let down a bit, I still made it there. I’m sure there must be a strong reason to pick this spacious ball room as the venue but if I had been the committee, perhaps I’d have chosen to stay outdoor, setting up a tent in a garden or something with greenery around. But I sadly am not. And I forgot asking them (the EECCHI folks) about the reason behind this.

Apart from the not-so-environmentally-friendly venue, still I DO support whole-heartedly the core message of the entire program: energy efficiency and conservation. I’ve been seeing EECCHI doing a lot of things since its launch in March 2011. It was from social networks, to be candid. Renee Suhardono, the motivator, offered some people to participate in a brief meeting or seminar, I can’t remember exactly, and referred me to Sekar Sosronegoro. Or maybe I sent email to her. Either of them. Ms. Sosronegoro seemed to welcome my intention though I failed showing up as the schedule couldn’t fit mine. I passed the offer but remained interested. And at last I’d been invited 4 times in the past 11 months, if I am not mistaken.

In 2012, the house has carried out its 3 main programs: “Home and School Energy Champion 2012”, “Energy Switch” and “Capacity Building for Local Government- 4 Week Challenges”. They also have attempted to raise awareness by involving more and more youths and several target groups (such as households, public institutions and regional public institutions) in their various programs. Yet as stated in the release, Vice Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources Rubiandini Suharsyah elaborated, “This is not merely a series of awareness-raising campaigns. It is a series of real actions by the society as part of their responsibility.”

EECCHI didn’t stop there. After involving 9 schools and 234 households in Home and School Energy Champion 2012, the house too offered consultation assistance through a program named “Energy SWITCH” (Energy Saving with Changing Behavior) to 9 select companies or institutions. These lucky companies were The Body Shop Indonesia, PT Nutrifood Indonesia, PT Len Industri, Hotel Ibis Malioboro, Mal Malioboro Yogyakarta, Sampoerna School of Business, DHL Indonesia, PT ISBG Communication, Indecon Foundation.

On foot everywhere: While a typical Jakartan worker spends at least 30% of their income for transportation fares, I refuse to follow the insanely frustrating way of living. Choose a decent place to stay within walking distance to your office and problem is solved. Living cost may be a bit higher but it is damn worth a great deal of headache due to traffic jam. This is how I saving and conserving energy, instead of riding a motorbike.

I’ve too often seen public places and offices with very poor building management which usually results in extremely energy-wasting patterns of energy use. Leaked water taps, light bulbs left on all day long, you name it. That is perhaps what encouraged EECCHI to bring energy saving challenges for an entire month in a program called “Capacity Building for Local Governments”. Nine provinces were participating in the 4-week energy and water efficiency challenge. They are North Sumatra, South Sumatra, Riau/ Batam Islands, Central Java, East Java, Bali, South Borneo, North Sulawesi and South Sulawesi.

I’m not trying to rewrite the entire press release of EECCHI because what means more to me is what happens after all the festivities, parties, and programs are done and gone. Can it solve the problems currently aggravating us, i.e. people’s careless attitude towards energy use, the increasingly soaring energy demand, alternative renewable energy resources, etc? It is too soon to answer now. But possibly we can keep hoping that such efforts like what EECCHI has practiced will eventually help us prevent the energy crisis.

That said, let’s not stop saving and conserving energy after this, Indonesia!

One thought on “From EECCHI Public Awards: The Contests are Over But Challenges? Never!

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