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The National Environment Agency (NEA) of Singapore is seeking feedback on a proposal to raise the Minimum Energy Performance Standards for refrigerators, clothes dryers and air-conditioners. The consultation exercise will start on 20 January 2021 and end on 16 February 2021.
2 Singapore submitted its enhanced Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) and Long-Term Low-Emissions Development Strategy (LEDS) documents to the UNFCCC in March 2020. The enhanced NDC document updates Singapore's climate pledge submitted in July 2015 under the Paris Agreement, and states an absolute emissions target to peak emissions at 65MtCO2e around 2030. Singapore's LEDS builds on the enhanced NDC's target by aspiring to halve our emissions from its peak to 33MtCO2e by 2050, with a view to achieving net zero emissions as soon as viable in the second half of the century. To achieve this, serious and concerted efforts across different sectors of the economy and society would be required.
3 To reduce emissions in the household sector, the Government promotes the adoption of energy-efficient appliances in homes and encourages energy conservation habits amongst households. The Mandatory Energy Labelling Scheme (MELS) and the Minimum Energy Performance Standards (MEPS) are key policies undertaken to reduce energy consumption and emissions in the household sector using energy-efficient appliances.
4 MELS help consumers make informed purchasing decisions when buying energy intensive appliances. Manufacturers and suppliers are required to affix energy labels to appliances that are designated as regulated products under the Energy Conservation Act (ECA). The energy label contains information on the energy consumption and energy costs of each appliance. It also highlights the relative energy efficiency of an appliance, with more ticks indicating higher efficiency. The objective of the tick rating system is to help consumers identify more efficient models.
5 MEPS raises the average energy efficiency of household appliances by removing the least energy efficient appliances from the market. This protects consumers from being locked into the high energy costs that result from operating energy inefficient appliances.
6 Since the introduction of MELS and MEPS, the average energy efficiency of household refrigerators, air-conditioners and clothes dryers have improved by 46%, 42% and 14% respectively.
Proposed Raising of MEPS
7 NEA reviews regularly the MEPS levels of all regulated products and these levels will be raised over time to increase the adoption of more energy-efficient appliances. NEA recently conducted a review of the energy efficiency standards of refrigerators, clothes dryers and air-conditioners and is proposing to:
i. Raise MEPS for refrigerators to 2-tick level;
ii. Raise MEPS for clothes dryers to 2-tick level;
iii. Raise MEPS for Casement and Window Air-conditioners to 2-tick level;
iv. Raise MEPS for Split-type Air-conditioner by 7%; and
v. Introduce/Tighten standby power limits for Split-type Air-conditioner.
Details of the current and proposed MEPS levels can be found in the Annex.
Raise MEPS for refrigerators to 2-tick
8 MEPS for refrigerators was raised to the current 1-tick level in 2017. Since then, there has been significant increase in the share of more efficient refrigerators. The proposed MEPS will remove only about 12% of the refrigerator models currently in the market (about 60 out of some 485 refrigerator models). Consumers will still be able to choose from a wide variety of models in different capacity ranges and enjoy lower life cycle costs if MEPS is raised to 2-tick level.
Raise MEPS for clothes dryers to 2-tick
9 The proposed MEPS would result in majority of the remaining models in the market to be of 5-tick which may be more costly upfront but with significantly lower running cost to operate. The setting of MEPS at 2-tick level would encourage suppliers to bring in more 2- to 4-tick clothes dryers.
Raise MEPS for Casement and Window Air-conditioners to 2-tick
10 Casement and window air-conditioners account for less than 3% by sales of the entire air-conditioner market. The current models available are all at 1-tick level. The proposed MEPS will phase out these air-conditioner type from the current market as there are no models that are at the 2-tick level and higher. Consumers can still opt for single-split air-conditioner as alternative and save about 40% on lifecycle cost, leading to short payback periods.
Raise MEPS for Split-type Air-conditioner by 7%
11 The proposed raising of MEPS will remove the less efficient 2-tick models from the market, about 30 out of the 425 (7%) split-type air-conditioner models in the current market.
Introducing/ Tighten Standby Power limits for Split-type Air-conditioner
12 Stand-by power limits were introduced in 2014 and are only applicable to 5-tick air-conditioner models. Presently, more than 90% of current air-conditioner models have low stand-by power not exceeding the current 5-tick limit.
13 In order to better distinguish the stand-by power among split-type air-conditioners, NEA is proposing to extend the standby power limits to 3- and 4-tick models and tighten the current stand-by power limit for 5-tick multi-split models. Air-conditioners that do not meet the proposed stand-by power requirement of their current tick-rating will be re-rated to the next lower rating where it meets the associated standby power requirement.
14 The proposed revisions as stated in Paragraph 7, if adopted, will take effect from January 2022. Suppliers which are affected by the proposed revisions will be given a 1-year grace period till end of 2022 to clear existing stocks that are imported before January 2022, including models that do not meet the revised MEPS.
15 This proposal is released for the purpose of consultation. All comments received during the consultation exercise will be reviewed and may be incorporated into the final measure. Interested parties can submit their feedback to NEA_energylabel@nea.gov.sg. The consultation exercise will end on 16 February 2021.
16 To ensure that the consultation is productive and focused, respondents are requested to observe these guidelines when providing their feedback:
a) Identify yourself as well as the organization you represent, if applicable so that we may follow up with you to clarify any issues, if necessary.
b) Be clear and concise in your comments.
c) Focus your comments on the proposal and how it can be improved.
d) As far as possible, substantiate your points with illustrations, examples, data or alternative suggestions.