Review of Energy Efficiency Test Standards and Regulations in APEC Member Economies

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This report examines program requirements and test procedures for all electrical products that are regulated for energy efficiency within APEC member economies. It is intended to work towards the establishment of bases of comparison of the outcomes of testing to different standards so that the need to test to multiple standards can be reduced or removed.

It is clear that there is a huge range of test procedures in use within APEC Member Economies for the purposes of energy-related regulations and programs. While there is a degree of similarity and even harmonization in some areas and for some products, there is generally a complex mix of requirements in force, both in terms of regulatory requirements and testing requirements. This obviously has the potential to, and most likely already is, restricting free trade between APEC member economies.

Conversion algorithms, where feasible, will provide reduced costs of testing for manufacturers, which will in turn reduce costs of trade. This will have potential benefits of allowing the most efficient products available on the market to move more freely which will in turn reduce the demand for energy consumption. However, the development of conversion algorithms that are accurate and reliable is not simple for some products and probably not even necessary or feasible for others.

Alignment of test procedures and the development of conversion algorithms both achieve the same net effect. These are to:

  • facilitate international trade;
  • decrease testing and approval costs for manufacturers;
  • allow the free movement of the most efficient products (noting that products with a low energy efficiency may still be barred if they do not meet local MEPS levels);
  • facilitate international comparisons; and
  • assist in the diffusion of advanced energy-saving technologies.

Conversion algorithms have the added advantage of being able to provide a more accurate estimate of the impact of local usage patterns, better ranking of products under conditions of actual use and may also allow the retention of local or traditional test conditions. They would also facilitate direct international comparisons, which are of increasing importance. However, in cases where a particular product test procedure is clearly technically superior and already characterizes products to the level that is necessary, alignment would probably be a preferable medium-term option.

It is only worth aligning with a standard that is technically superior and competent – aligning to a poor test procedure serves little purpose. Either alignment of test procedures or development of suitable conversion algorithms provides an acceptable outcome in terms of APEC policy requirements and future directions (provided that economies accept the results of a conversion algorithm as credible).

Notes: Published on November 1999, for the APEC Secretariat, Singapore. APEC report #99-RE-01.5 ISBN 0-646-38672-7.

Author: Energy Efficient Strategies, Australia

Assistance from: Paul Waide Consulting, UK
George Wilkenfeld & Associates, Australia
International Institute for Energy Conservation, Bangkok
Rafael Friedmann, USA & CENEF, Russia

Information from: Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC)


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