Public Consultation on Raising Minimum Energy Performance Standards for Refrigerators

National Environment Agency

National Environment Agency - Environmental Protection Division

Consultation Period: 11 Oct 2016 - 30 Oct 2016
Status: Closed
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Summary

The National Environment Agency (NEA) of Singapore is seeking feedback on a proposal to raise the Minimum Energy Performance Standards for refrigerators from 1 November 2017. The consultation exercise will start on 11 October 2016 and end on 31 October 2016.

Detailed Description

Background

2. Singapore ratified the Paris Agreement and formalised our pledge to reduce our emissions intensity[1] by 36% from 2005 levels by 2030, and stabilise our greenhouse gas emissions with the aim of peaking around 2030.  Improving energy efficiency across all sectors is our key strategy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The household sector accounted for about 15% of Singapore’s total electricity consumption in 2015.

3. The NEA introduced the Mandatory Energy Labelling Scheme (MELS) in 2008 to 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 registrable 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 performance of an appliance, with more ticks indicating higher efficiency. The objective of the tick rating system is to help consumers identify more efficient models. MELS currently covers household refrigerators, air-conditioners, clothes dryers, televisions and lamps.

4.  In 2011, Minimum Energy Performance Standards (MEPS) for household refrigerators were introduced. Only refrigerators that meet or exceed the prescribed MEPS are permitted to be sold in Singapore. MEPS helps to prevent consumers from becoming locked into high energy consumption and costs over the lifespan of the appliance. Besides refrigerators, MEPS have been extended to air-conditioners, clothes dryers and lamps.

Enhanced MEPS for Refrigerators

5. The refrigerator is one of the most energy-intensive appliances in homes, accounting for about 18.5% of the total household energy consumption on average (see Annex 1). Since the introduction of MELS and MEPS, the average energy efficiency of refrigerators has improved by about 26%. Manufacturers and suppliers have also responded by introducing more energy efficient refrigerators.

6. NEA recently conducted a review of the energy performance standards for refrigerators and is proposing to:

a)     Raise MEPS by 5% for refrigerators with a freezer and with a total adjusted volume[2] of up to 300L;

b)     Raise MEPS by 13% for all other refrigerator categories.

7. The key consideration in raising the MEPS is that consumers should enjoy cost savings over the operating lifespan of the refrigerators, while availability and choice of models in the market are not significantly affected. The proposed enhancement to the MEPS will remove about 80 of the least energy efficient refrigerator models, out of some 500 refrigerator models currently in the market. The models that will no longer be available in the market, if the proposed standards are adopted, accounted for only 17% of refrigerator sales in 2014.

8. By purchasing more efficient refrigerators, consumers will enjoy savings in energy costs from the reduction in energy use, play an active role in reducing Singapore's carbon footprint and contribute to Singapore fulfilling its pledge to reduce its emission intensity. The enhanced MEPS are expected to help consumers save $1.78 million in annual electricity costs - equivalent to the yearly electricity bill of some 2,000 4-room HDB households.

9. The proposed effective date for the revision to the MEPS is 1 November 2017.  Please refer to Annex 2 for technical information on the MEPS levels.

Helping Consumers Select More Energy Efficient Appliances 

10. NEA has developed a Life Cycle Cost Calculator to help consumers make informed purchasing decisions. The tool is available on the E2Singapore website and can also be found in NEA’s myENV mobile application. NEA also works closely with retailers to encourage the sale of energy efficient appliances to customers.

Future Plans

11. NEA will review MELS and MEPS for household appliances regularly to keep pace with technological improvements and to encourage suppliers to bring in more energy efficient models.

Public Consultation

12.  This proposal is released for the purpose of consultation. All comments received during the consultation exercise will be reviewed thoroughly 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 31 October 2016.

13.  To ensure that the consultation is productive and focused, respondents are requested to observe these guidelines when providing their feedback:

  • Identify yourself as well as the organization you represent (if any) so that we may follow up with you to clarify any issues, if necessary.
  • Be clear and concise in your comments.
  • Focus your comments on the proposal to raise Minimum Energy Performance Standards for refrigerators and how it can be improved.
  • As far as possible, substantiate your points with illustrations, examples, data or alternative suggestions.

[1] Emissions Intensity refers to GHG Emissions per dollar of GDP, measured in CO2-equivalent per $.
[2] Adjusted volume (Vadj tot) is used in energy efficiency calculations to account for the higher energy use per unit of storage volume of freezers. Please refer to http://www.nea.gov.sg/energy-waste/energy-efficiency/household-sector/registrable-goods for more information on the calculation of adjusted volumes.