|Title||Check-Testing of Manufacturer Self Reported Labeling Data & Compliance with MEPS|
|Year of Publication||2008|
|Authors||Zhou, Nan, Nina Zheng, David Fridley, Ruohong Wang, and Christine Egan|
|Publisher||Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory; China National Institute of Standardization; Collaborative Labeling and Appliance Standards Program|
|Keywords||china energy, china energy group, energy analysis and environmental impacts department|
China first adopted minimum energy performance standards (MEPS) in 1989. Today,there are standards for a wide range of domestic, commercial and selected industrialequipment. In 1999, China launched a voluntary endorsement label, which has grown tocover over 40 products including water-saving products. Further, in 2005, China started amandatory energy information label that initially covered two products and in 2007 wasextended to cover four products total including: air conditioners; household refrigerators;clothes washers; and unitary air conditioners. These programs have had an important im-pact in reducing the energy consumption of appliances in China. China has built up astrong infrastructure to develop and implement standards. Historically, however, the gov-ernment's primary focus has been on the technical requirements for specifying efficiencyperformance. Less attention has been paid to monitoring and enforcement with a minimalcommitment of resources and little expansion of administrative capacity in this area.Thus, market compliance with both mandatory standard and labeling programs has beenquestionable. Furthermore, actual energy savings have quite possibly been undermined asa result. The establishment of a regularized monitoring system for tracking compliancewith the mandatory standard and energy information label programs in China is a majorarea for program improvement.
Over the years, the Collaborative Labeling and Appliance Standards Program (CLASP)has partnered with several Chinese institutions to promote energy-efficient products inChina. CLASP, together with its implementing partner Lawrence Berkeley NationalLaboratory (LBNL), has assisted China in developing and updating the above-mentionedstandards and labeling programs. Because of the increasing need for the development of amonitoring system to track compliance with the standard, CLASP, with support from Ja-pan's Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) and the Institute of Energy Eco-nomics, Japan (IEEJ), has expanded its on-going collaboration with the China NationalInstitute of Standards (CNIS) to include enforcement and monitoring. CNIS has alreadybegun working on the issue of compliance. In early 2007, LBNL compiled a report, withthe support of METI, summarizing the findings from these activities and indicating Chi-na's progress to date. The report concluded that although the existing legal basis formonitoring and enforcement is sufficient— with multiple laws and regulations definingthe responsibility of each government agency and specifying a system of fines and penal-ties for non-compliance—compared with international best practices, there is still a biggap in China's monitoring and enforcement efforts for mandatory standards and labels.
Concerned about the integrity of the mandatory energy information labeling and MEPS,CNIS conducted modest sample testing in 2006 for refrigerators and room air-conditioners. In contrast to the national product quality testing, where samples are takenfrom manufacturers' warehouses, samples were purchased from retail markets in Beijing,Heifei, and Guangzhou. They were then tested in three national test laboratories in thosesame three cities. Tests were done in two rounds with products that failed the first timere-tested for a second time.
In sum, the report concludes that while the sample size is far smaller than the mid-termgoal of developing a regular check testing program for 20 percent of the market for eachof the three products, this study provides highly valuable feedback on manufacturer com-pliance rates in the absence of a large-scale national testing program. With METI/IEEJsupport, CLASP could assist the China Energy Label Center (CELC) in expanding itsverification testing programs to cover more models and products, and in developing aplan for ramping up the national verification testing program over the next three to fiveyears. This is particularly important as the information labeling program gains more visi-bility and expands to additional product categories. CLASP could also assist CELC toplan for a round-robin testing scheme—first among three national laboratories with sub-sequent expansion of this program to other regional test laboratories—with the goal ofimproving the consistency of testing results from different testing laboratories.