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In many countries, energy efficiency initiatives represent the cornerstone of national policies designed to reduce energy consumption, tackle environmental issues and improve energy security. Standards and labelling programs for appliances and electrical and electronic equipment are proven to deliver the largest quantity of energy savings at the lowest cost, compared to most other energy savings initiatives.

Here is a quick look at the existing energy efficiency programmes in a selection of both well established and emerging markets in East-Asia, the Middle East and South Africa.

Energy Efficiency Programs

Minimum energy performance standards (MEPS) and Efficiency Labelling programmes are widely implemented in all regions around the world. However, the controlled scopes vary considerably by the type of product covered. Most energy efficiency programmes are focused on, but not limited to, household appliances such as air conditioners, washing machines and refrigeration appliances, etc.

Most large economies implemented such programmes well over a decade ago. Some of the emerging markets have only recently adopted them, or are in the process of rolling out such schemes.

Figure 1: Years in which energy efficiency programmes have been implemented in various economies.

Economic MEPS Start Year Labeling Program Start Year
Australia   1992   1992
Japan   1999   1995
China   1989   1998
Taiwan   1999   2000
Korea   1992   1992 - 1999 (Standby)
Thailand   2010   2003
Malaysia   1996   2003
Singapore   2011   2008
India      -   2006
Indonesia   Under consideration   2011
Vietnam   2013   2011
South Africa   2015   2015
Ghana   2014   2014
Mexico   1995   1995
Brazil      -   2012
Colombia   2016 (Proposed)   2016 (Proposed)
Chile   2012 - 13   2012 - 13
Saudi Arabia      -   2009
UAE     -   2013
Jordan   2013   2013

Regulatory Landscape in East-Asia

Korea - Korea launched its labelling programme (including MEPS) for target products including refrigerators and air conditioners, amongst other, well over two decades ago. Korea’s regulatory body is also running another energy efficiency programme, the E-Standby Programme, which aims to reduce the standby power consumption of electronic appliances and office equipment. Products that do not satisfy the standby power specification are subject to mandatory indication through a “Warning Label.” 

Thailand - Thailand has introduced a mandatory certification mark (the TIS Logo), which is operated by the Thai Industrial Standards Institute. Beside product safety aspects, the programme also regulates MEPS requirements for a specific range of products. 

Several other countries in East-Asia, including Singapore, Malaysia, Vietnam and the Philippines, have implemented similar MEPS and labelling programmes and these requirements are expected to become harmonised via an Agreement on ASEAN regulatory regimes.

Energy Labelling in the Middle East

Saudi Arabia - Saudi Arabia has a mandatory energy labelling programme focused on air conditioners (SASO 2663:2014, SASO 2681:2013, SASO 2682:2013), washing machines (SASO 2692:2013, SASO 2683:2007, SASO 2693:2007) and refrigeration appliances (SASO 2664:2013). Newly implemented categories include rotating electrical machines (SASO IEC 60034-30:2013) and lighting products (SASO 2870). 

United Arab Emirates - Similar to its larger neighbour, the UAE regulates the energy labelling of household or commercial air conditioners, refrigeration appliances, washers/dryers and lighting products. 

Jordan - As part of its Free Trade Agreement with the EU, since 2003 Jordan has implemented technical regulations on standby-power for household and office equipment, aligned with Regulation (EC) 1275/2008, and on the efficiency of external power supplies, aligned with Regulation (EC) 278/2009.

Energy Efficiency in South Africa

The South African Department of Trade and Industry has launched notice No. 944 about energy efficiency and labelling requirements for specific audio/video equipment and various types of household appliances. The complete list of technical requirements is listed in the South African Government Gazette VC9008. The compulsory specifications become effective in accordance with the following phases:

  • Phase I – entered into force on May 28, 2015 and covers audio/video equipment
  • Phase II – entered into force on August 28, 2015, covering dishwashers, electric ovens, refrigerators and freezers, tumble dryers, washer-dryer combinations, and washing machines
  • Phase III – will enter into force on May 28, 2016 and will cover air conditioners and pumps for space heating and cooling

Access Regulatory and Type Approval Information on Even More Markets

With the help of our global network of experts in regulatory compliance, SGS has compiled, in a white paper, a comprehensive list of certification and market access requirements for electrical and electronic products, covering most markets around the world. Download your complimentary copy of SGS’s “International Type Approval – ITA, for Electrical and Electronic Products”.

For more information on energy efficiency requirements for E&E products and our related services, please contact:

Michael Jaenecke
Global Certification Manager
SGS Korea Co., Ltd
t: +82 31 689 5038