Standardising energy efficiency testing will help ASEAN’s sustainability efforts: ESI


Creating a single Energy Efficiency Standards and Labelling (EESL) programme for appliances is a key strategy for ASEAN in transitioning to a sustainable energy system, revealed the Energy Studies Institute (ESI) Policy Brief, Harmonising Energy Efficiency Standards and Labelling Programmes in ASEAN: Current Trends and Future Developments.

ASEAN countries are making a mark on the global energy landscape. The fast-developing region is driving the global energy demand as more people gain access to electricity. A concerted effort to adopt energy efficient appliances will be needed.

Implementing EESL programmes for appliances will have a significant, positive impact on energy use. For example, Minimum Energy Performance Standards (MEPS) set the basic requirements for energy-consuming products, determining what can be sold or used for commercial purposes. The application of MEPS for refrigerators in Singapore resulted in increased energy efficiency by more than 25 per cent since its introduction in 2011.

While five of the 10 ASEAN member states have adopted national MEPS and labelling schemes for appliances, currently the region does not have a uniform EESL programme. The ESI Policy Brief discusses four steps to implement a uniform standard.

1. Establish an ASEAN-wide appliance database. Outside of the national databases in Thailand, Singapore and the Philippines, consumers are unable to obtain product information which could help them choose appliances that meet energy efficiency standards. As a result, countries without EESL programmes often become the dumping ground for inefficient products.

2. Integrate regional test standards. Countries that have adopted EESL programmes conduct localised tests with different standards. This makes it difficult to determine if an appliance is truly complying with energy efficiency regulations. Standardising the test across the region can help to reduce manufacturing and testing costs.

3. Unify energy efficiency thresholds. Currently there is no unified MEPS for appliances in the region. Developing MEPS for ASEAN will ensure that only qualified products can enter the regional market.

4. Institutionalise a standards task force. There will be a need to set up an ASEAN-level entity to coordinate, implement and enforce a uniform regional standard. This task force would also need to be responsible for revising standards accordingly to account for technological advancements.

For more insight on EESL programmes, read the paper, Harmonising Energy Efficiency Standards and Labelling Programmes in ASEAN: Current Trends and Future Developments.

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