Background of the ECP Act
A country energy saving policy had started since 1973 during the 3rd National Economic and Social Development Plan (Plan 3 : 1973-1976). The government at that time had determined several measures to prevent the oil shortage and savings of oil and electricity. Some measures were temporarily required such as: reducing the public lighting by 50 percent, restriction on engine capacity not over 1,300 cc for the new official vehicle procurement, etc. Such all the measures had been canceled when the energy situation getting better. The energy conservation measures or energy savings in the 4th National Economic and Social Development Plan (Plan 4: 1977–1982) had been continuous implemented due to oil consumption still be at a very high rate and electricity generation still relied highly on imported petroleum. Energy saving measures at that time covered the transport, communication, industry and public sector. Most were temporary measures emphasising on resolving just the current problems at face, such as: limit the driving speed of cars and trucks, impose the bus lanes, prohibit the car parking alomg main roads, forbid the electricity uses in large factories during a peak load, demonstrate energy savings, impose the opening-closing time of the service and entertainment places, reduce the TV broadcasting time in the evening, etc.
However, these measures that the government had implemented, to reduce oil and electricity uses during the world crude oil prices were expensive and shortage, were not capable of effective reducing the oil consumption and imported petroleum dependency. Until the 5th National Economic and Social Development Plan (Plan 5 : 1982–1986) had determined an energy policy as the basis in energy development to create the maximum benefits to a country development. This included adjustments on energy production structure and reduction on energy consumption. Energy measures brought to improve an energy efficiency in industrial sector, transport and communication according to the Plan 5 had determined to emphasis an energy efficiency per unit of production to create the savings and reducing energy consumption. These were implemented in form of the National Energy Saving Project.
At primary, the National Energy Saving Project had assigned DEDE to implement the energy efficiency promotion measure and savings in industrial sector, such as: provide an energy audit in factory, provide the training for transferring energy conservation technologies to executives, engineers and technicians in factories, provide incentives by reducing the import duty on energy conserving machinery and equipment, provide low interest loans to factories for energy saving demonstration, including dissemination on energy saving news and data through journals, newsletter, technical document, posters and folders, etc.
Such the Project had been continuous implemented and expanded to wider scope until the period of the 6th National Economic and Social Development Plan (Plan 6 : 1987–1991), the additional targets had been determined to cover the energy conservation in commercial and residential sectors.
In 1986, the energy saving promotion measure had been implemented until getting effective results at one level, but the country economic tended to rapidly expand, esp. in export, investment and tourism. These also caused the higher growth of commercial energy demand, therefore became the burden both to the public and private sectors in energy provision to fulfill the demand sufficiently. Besides the development on new energy sources, an effective and sustainable energy conservation will be the measure to help maintaining the country energy security and stability. Seeing also from the overseas achievements in energy conservation, such as: Japan, Germany, Canada, such the countries had enacted the Energy Conservation Act as a tool in energy conservation promotion to private sector. DEDE had drafting the Energy Conservation Promotion (ECP) Act and had passed the consideration of the National Assembly and finally HM the King had been pleased to enact this Act in the Government Gazette on 2nd April 1992. Hence this ECP Act has been effective since 3rd April 1992 (B.E.2535) onwards.