Efficient Appliances for People & the Planet


Accelerating the Adoption of Second-Tier Reach Standards for Applicable Appliance Products in China

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The minimum energy efficiency standards program for household appliances in China was initiated in 1989 when the former State Bureau of Technical Supervision announced the first batch of efficiency standards for eight consumer products. Since 1996, CLASP and its implementing partner, LBNL, have assisted China in developing 11 minimum energy performance standards (MEPS) for 9 products and endorsement labels for 11 products including: refrigerators; air conditioners; clothes washers; televisions; printers; computers; monitors; fax machines; copiers; DVD/VCD players; external power supplies; and set-top boxes (under development).

Increasingly, attention is being placed on maximizing energy savings from China’s standards and labeling efforts in order to meet the recently announced goal of reducing China’s energy intensity by 20 percent by 2010—a part of China’s reorientation to decreasing its rapid rate of growth in energy consumption.

Before 2003, China’s traditional approach to standards development involved small increases in efficiency requirements for implementation within 6 months of a standard’s approval. Since 2003, China has adopted a new approach in setting efficiency standards. This new approach involves the development of two tiers of standards—one for initial implementation and a second tier at a more aggressive level of energy efficiency for implementation three to five years later. The second-tier standard is also referred to as a “reach standard.” 

The development of the reach standard is a major milestone in China’s standard program. Besides specifying increased energy savings at some future date, it offers a potential avenue to further increase energy savings by accelerating the adoption of the second tier reach standards for applicable products.

CLASP, with the support of the China Sustainable Energy Program (CSEP) of the Energy Foundation (EF), has previously participated in a pilot program to support the city of Shanghai to accelerate the adoption of the second tier reach standard for room air conditioners in Shanghai prior to national implementation. In light of Shanghai’s severe electricity shortage in 2004 and 2005, this approach promised both to save energy and to reduce Shanghai’s peak load challenge.

This report is presented in five sections. After the introduction, Section 2 analyzes the distribution of the efficiency of refrigerators and air-conditioners in China based on data collected by the China Energy Label Center for the mandatory energy information label program. The results provide an assessment of the adoption of reach standards for these two products. Section 3 summarizes on-going collaborations with Shanghai and presents both the impact and an analysis of barriers to local adoption of reach standard for air conditioners. Section 4 offers suggestions for local governments on how to move forward in adopting reach standards in their localities and concludes with a summary of the results and a plan for developing local capacity in order to achieve success in adopting reach standards.

Authors: Jiang Lin & David Fridley; Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory


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