LEDs lighting the way to a brighter future for energy efficient technology in Malaysia

City Lights


I find talking about energy efficiency very interesting, and I do it a lot. But until recently I hadn’t had the opportunity to do it on primetime television in Malaysia. I was interviewed on the subject for the evening news on TV3, Malaysia’s most watched television channel. The camera crew was following a delegation I was leading in London, with representatives from Malaysia’s government and state agencies, as well as a number of local LED lighting manufacturers looking to understand the export potential for their products.

The London visit was part of an ongoing project the Carbon Trust is leading thanks to support from the Southeast Asia Prosperity Fund, helping to bring pioneering UK expertise in energy efficiency to Malaysia. This involves working alongside our local partners, GreenTech Malaysia, to accelerate the deployment of LED lighting in businesses and public bodies, helping to reduce energy use and carbon emissions. The project is also strengthening valuable international trade relationships between LED manufacturers and suppliers in Malaysia and installers in the UK.

LED technology has advanced dramatically over the past few years, now offering equivalent or improved lighting quality when compared to other technologies, with considerably lower energy use (often an 80% reduction). This means that the business case for upgrading is very strong: paybacks are often quick and the long term energy cost and carbon savings can really add up.

So far the project is looking very promising. Case studies are being created of best practice successes. Training is being provided to construction and engineering professionals. Local LED manufacturers are being supported in promoting their high quality and efficient products to the local market. Businesses are being engaged, particularly those in the retail, manufacturing, logistics and hospitality sectors. And we plan to demonstrate the value of LED lighting in the public sector through proactive support being provided to the Polis Diraja Malaysia, the Royal Malaysia Police, who are looking into retrofitting LED lighting across their entire estate.

The Carbon Trust’s partner on the project, GreenTech Malaysia – an agency sitting under KeTTHA, Malaysia’s Ministry of Energy, Green Technology and Water – was founded to catalyse the deployment of green technology as a part of Malaysia’s sustainable development ambitions. A number of other local organisations are also getting involved in the project, including: business development agency, SME Corp Malaysia; the regional development agency, Northern Corridor Implementation Authority; the Economic Planning Unit sitting within the Prime Minister’s office; and PEMANDU, the Malaysian government’s performance, management and delivery unit.

Through this work we hope to accelerate the sustainable development of Malaysia’s economy, as a part of its ambition to become a developed country, through becoming more efficient itself and enhancing the export potential of its LED manufacturers.  The Malaysian government has identified LED lighting manufacturing as one of its priority economy growth sectors during the next few years.

A focus on energy efficiency is a very effective way to lower the overheads for business and increase competitiveness, help the public sector to focus its spend on frontline services, remove the need to build new energy generation capacity, and to reduce carbon emissions and take action on climate change. Changing the lights is a great place to start.