Impact of the Energy Efficiency Labeling and Standards Program on Room Air-conditioner in Korea

January 31, 2006 - 12:00pm
Bldg. 90

There is a significant amount of trade in energy-using equipment all over the world. A study of trade in air conditioners, refrigerators, electric motors and lighting products found that air-conditioner trade all among all economies was worth about US$35 billion in 2003. Window/wall air conditioners represented about 40% of the value of trade, and other types (split system and ducted types) about 60%. Air conditioner is the one of most energy-consuming equipments in residential sector, which reaches to include air conditioner in MEPS and energy labeling program in many economies. Much of this trade is affected in some way by minimum energy performance standards (MEPS) and energy labeling Program. Imports into APEC economies that have mandatory MEPS and/or labelling programs for air conditioners accounted for 76% of the value of intra-APEC air conditioner trade. If economies with voluntary programs are included, then more than 95% of intra-APEC air conditioner trade is destined for economies with MEPS and/or labeling programs.  Korea has a limited natural resources, which together with the aim of energy saving and reducing impact on environment, Korean government to enact a new policy for energy saving. Based on the Rational Energy Utilization Act, in 1992 the Korean Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Energy (MOCIE) mandated energy efficiency labeling for particular types of consumer products. The energy efficiency labeling program for particular appliances and lighting equipment has been enforced since 1992. The Korea Energy Management Corporation (KEMCO) formulated the labeling rule for MOCIE, based on statistical and engineering analysis of efficiency data provided by manufacturers. In the beginning, refrigerators, room air-conditioners, incandescent lamps and, fluorescent lamps were included in this program. In 2005 we have 16 products in this program. Air conditioner's MEPS level was upgraded 3 times at 1996, 2001 and 2004 to promote new energy saving technology for manufactures. It becomes the highest MEPS level in the world. By any measure, the energy labeling and standards implemented on air conditioner has been successful.  There is a very high awareness of the energy label - 85% of general consumers and 96% of appliance shoppers were aware of the label. The program has also led to a substantial market transformation, the percentage of energy-efficient appliances on the market (grade 1 or grade 2) has increased from 15% in 1993 to 91% in 2003 (even with adjustments in label ranking scheme).  This research is to focus on the analysis of MEPS level and energy efficiency label of air conditioner how to affect energy saving for the residential sector and to lead the technology development in Korea for a decade (from 1993 to 2005), and to show the regulated levels (MEPS) of upcoming year in Korea.

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