Past Stakeholder Outreach
Summary of Past Engagement Efforts
We appreciate all who have participated in stakeholder processes in the past. Outcomes from prior stakeholder outreach events are presented below.
Please note: Stakeholder engagement efforts undertaken prior to February 2020 were conducted under the Lighting Global Quality Assurance program.
Proposed Changes to Draft Quality Standards Submitted to IEC
2019 – 2020
In April 2019, Lighting Global Quality Assurance requested feedback on proposed changes to the draft of the quality standards under review by the International Electrotechincal Committee (IEC). As described in our request for public comment, the proposed changes included increased PV and battery safety requirements, as well as additional labeling and performance reporting requirements. We received direct feedback from twelve stakeholders who completed the online survey, which included consolidated responses from the Global Off-Grid Lighting Association (GOGLA). Additionally, we gained understanding from comments and questions during a lithium battery safety webinar we jointly hosted with GOGLA. Most respondents generally supported the proposed changes, and the feedback received enabled our team to make key improvements and clarifications to the draft, as described in this Stakeholder Feedback Memo.
In January 2020, IEC Technical Committee 82 voted and approved the revised draft for adoption by the IEC. Previously, we had referred to this as a draft of IEC TS 62257-13-1; however, it has now been relabeled with the number IEC TS 62257-9-8. Documents are typically published within one to six months of a positive vote, so we anticipate the final document to be published in the first half of 2020. Based on prior conversations, we expect several country governments will likely adopt the published IEC document as a mandatory standard for both pico-solar products and solar home system (SHS) kits with power up to 350 W. Once the IEC document is published the Lighting Global Quality Assurance program plans to use the IEC document in place of the Lighting Global Quality Standards for all pico-solar products and SHS kits. The Change Log for Quality Standards describes differences between the existing Lighting Global Quality Standards and the upcoming IEC document to enable companies to prepare to meet the new requirements. Additional details on this transition will be released in the coming months.
Feedback on Potential Changes to Lighting Global Quality Assurance Fees
We conducted a survey and hosted two webinars to solicit feedback on changes we are considering to our fee schedule. We received responses from 25 individuals, all of whom represent manufacturers, distributors, and other brand owners. Charging a base fee plus adders for quality verification services, offering discounted pricing to certain customers, and allowing companies to contract directly with an approved sampling agent received positive marks from 64%, 76%, and 60% of respondents, respectively.
When asked about eligibility criteria for discounted pricing, 35% were in favor of extending a discount for the first, second, or third product to come through the program, while 43% were in favor of extending a discount to companies with less than some specified value of sales of quality-verified (QV) products in the prior year. We received other suggestions as well, such as extending discounts to companies with negative balance sheets and looking at corporate revenue rather than sales only of QV products. At least three respondents voiced concern that allowing companies to contract directly with a sampling agent could undermine trust in the process and open the door to misconduct. Several respondents commented that the overall cost of testing and quality verification is too high, a concern we hear frequently from companies.
We thank everyone for their input and will consider it as we move forward. For more information on the proposed changes, please review the webinar slides:
- Webinar slides (7 March 2019 and 15 March 2019)
New Standardized Specification Sheets for Quality-Verified Products
The Lighting Global Quality Assurance team received feedback on a revised design of the Standardized Specification Sheets (Spec Sheets) for Lighting Global quality-verified products. With the transition to using the new version of the test methods (IEC/TS 62257-9-5:2018, ed. 4), the Spec Sheets can now report additional information about product performance and capabilities. These new Spec Sheets are used for products that begin testing after December 1, 2018. Existing Spec Sheets, and Spec Sheets for those products tested to the previous test methods (ed. 3), will only be updated following renewal testing. For more details, please review the stakeholder feedback document and draft Spec Sheet designs.
Submission of Quality Standards to the IEC
Since 2010, Lighting Global has maintained Quality Standards for off-grid solar products with modules smaller than approximately 10 peak watts (pico-solar products). Quality Standards for SHS Kits were subsequently introduced in 2014. Both of these standards documents set a baseline level of quality, durability, and truth in advertising to protect consumers. After stakeholder consultation, we are now planning to submit the Quality Standards for adoption by the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC). The following outreach was conducted in the process of making this decision:
- Initial call for comments: Proposal to Submit the Quality Standards to the IEC
- Stakeholder feedback on the proposal to submit the Quality Standards to the IEC
- Webinar Slides, pre-read materials, and notes on the webinar discussing the submission of the Quality Standards to the IEC (15 February 2018)
Changes to the Lighting Global Quality Assurance Framework
We integrated the test methods for pico-products and SHS kits into a single quality assurance framework that covers products with PV power up to 350 W. In June 2016, we requested feedback on our initial proposal and received multiple comments from twelve stakeholders and organizations that helped improve the proposed framework. We believe the proposed framework will create a unified set of test methods, institutionalized as IEC/TS 62257-9-5 ed.4, that can more easily be maintained and will ensure a more efficient and appropriate testing process.
In June 2018 the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) published a new edition of the test methods used for testing solar products, IEC 62257-9-5:2018 (also written as IEC 62257-9-5 ed. 4). We will phase in the use of these new methods between June – December 2018. This stakeholder memo describes the associated changes and expected timelines.
We invite you to continue to learn about these changes to the Quality Assurance framework:
- Review the feedback document, which outlines the proposed changes and provides responses to stakeholder comments
- Review materials from the stakeholder webinar, co-hosted GOGLA on 15 November 2016 that described upcoming changes to Lighting Global quality assurance framework:
Quality Standards and Test Methods for Solar Home System Kits
2014 – 2016
In 2015, Lighting Global and the regional Lighting Africa, Lighting Asia, and Lighting Pacific programs officially extended support to larger (10W to 100W) solar home system (SHS) kits in response to consumer and industry demands. In 2014, as an initial step in developing the test methods, we shared a set of draft Quality Standards specific to these larger systems and requested stakeholder comments. We received multiple comments from 20 different stakeholder organizations with a wide variety of connections to off-grid lighting. We also jointly hosted a webinar with GOGLA on September 17th, 2014 to discuss the draft Quality Standards. For more information, please read about the 2014 feedback and our responses in the Stakeholder Feedback Document and review materials from a webinar co-hosted with GOGLA on September 17th, 2014 to discuss the draft Quality Standards: recording, webinar slides, notes.
Accelerated Verification Method
2015 – 2016
Lighting Global created a new, faster framework for product quality verification. This Accelerated Verification Method (AVM) will be an optional alternative quality verification pathway available to eligible manufacturers that is faster than the standard Quality Test Method (QTM) testing pathway. We expect the proposed AVM to cut the quality assurance verification time from the status quo of about four months to approximately eight to ten weeks.
Thank you to all who provided feedback on the draft policy. Based on stakeholder feedback, we have made substantial revisions and have now adopted this Accelerated Verification Method Policy. For a full summary of the feedback and our responses, please review the Stakeholder Feedback on Draft Accelerated Verification Method.
Request for Expression of Interest to identify organizations to run an Off-Grid Energy Products Certification Body
2015 – 2016
The World Bank Group (WBG) released a Request for Expressions of Interest (REOI) to identify organizations interested in playing a leading role to build and run an Off-Grid Energy Products Certification Body and carry the Lighting Global quality assurance work forward on a sustainable basis. Responses were received in October 2015. In November 2016, the IFC and CLASP, an international NGO with deep expertise in the deployment of energy efficiency standards and labeling, with support from the Global Off-Grid Lighting Association (GOGLA), announced a new partnership to ensure the long-term sustainability of the Lighting Global Quality Assurance program—an internationally-recognized framework developed by IFC over the past nine years to ensure that off-grid lighting products meet consumers’ expectations for quality, affordability, and truth-in-advertising.
Performance Reporting Requirements
2014 – 2015
In March 2015, the Lighting Global team finalized a policy that presents requirements and guidelines for performance reporting on product packaging. The policy is intended to ensure that all those making purchasing decisions in the market have access to the necessary information to make well-informed decisions. The performance reporting requirements are now included as part of the Quality Standards. The final policy is available in the Standards and Policies Resources. We welcome you to review the stakeholder feedback that helped us refine the policy:
Comments on IEC 62257-9-5 Test Methods
Lighting Global has completed a stakeholder input process for proposed revisions to IEC/TS 62257-9-5 ed2.0. Revisions proposed by the Lighting Global team were described in this memo. Input was received through comments and questions from companies, test laboratory personnel, and government standards bureau staff members. The process was informed by discussions that took place in a workshop hosted by the Global Off-Grid Lighting Association (GOGLA).
Update to Standards and Targets Framework and Specs Sheets
The following documents and slides document the stakeholder process used to update the Lighting Global Quality Standards and Performance Targets. Most changes from this process became effective January 1st, 2014.
- Final Summary Memo October 2013: Revision of Quality Standards and Performance Targets
- Revisions to Standardized Specifications Sheets (SSS): Memo
- Follow-up webinar November 5th, 2013: recording, webinar slides, notes
- Initial webinar July 10th, 2013: webinar slides, notes
- Initial Kick-off Memo June 2013: Stakeholder Introduction to Standards and Targets Update
Launch of Lighting Global
When we launched Lighting Global QA in 2012, a number of updates were implemented from the Lighting Africa framework based on a stakeholder outreach process. They are described in detail in the memo linked here.