Filipino Policymakers Weigh Global Experiences on Fan Energy Use

Filipino energy policy stakeholders gathered recently in Manila to study the domestic market for electric fans and learn about global experiences developing efficiency policies for the popular cooling appliance.

A CLASP analysis of the Filipino market for electric fans to be published early next year estimates that there are 45 to 52 million fans in use in the country, with an average of three fans per household. The new data underscores the centrality of electric fans – an affordable and effective cooling technology – in the hot and humid country, and the climate, energy and financial implications of their energy performance.

Electric fans are far more widely-used than air conditioners (ACs) in the Philippines, according to CLASP data that showed a market size of 800,000 AC units in 2017. Fans are both less expensive at first purchase and less costly to operate than ACs, making them popular not only with households that have new financial access to space cooling, but also as a cost-effective contributor to quality of life at all income levels.

The upcoming market study shows that with dozens of brands competing for market share, the lack of energy efficiency standards or performance labels puts buyers at a disadvantage in identifying high-quality, efficient products. The implications of fan power use are significant: preliminary assessment indicates that implementing minimum energy performance standards for the most common fan models in the country could trim rising energy demand and cut greenhouse gas emissions by 2MT or more by 2030.

The CLASP-hosted workshop last month brought together representatives of the Philippines’ Department of Energy (DOE) and Department of Trade and Industry, as well as domestic appliance industry manufacturers and test facility operators.

Workshop participants also considered how other countries have addressed fan energy use. CLASP team members Matt Malinowski and Pradeep K. Mukherjee presented case studies on how policymakers in Indonesia and India, respectively, are establishing and increasing fan efficiency requirements. Ali Habib, who works with the environmental consulting group HIMA^Verte in Pakistan, described how the government there has engaged industry to accelerate the transition to higher efficiency.

Unlike in India and Pakistan, where ceiling fans are far more popular, in the Philippines table and pedestal fans dominate the market. Since standing fans typically use more energy than ceiling models, improving their energy performance is particularly important.

The Philippines DOE plans to adopt revised energy standards for air conditioners, refrigerators and lighting products next year, and is considering adopting standards for electric fans, TVs, washing machines and LED lighting.

Earlier this year Filipino lawmakers passed the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Act. The legislation institutionalizes the country’s energy performance standards for appliances and other products, instructs the agency to expand its energy labeling program to cover more products, and empowers enforcement of efficiency policies.

Related: Along with the Philippines AC market study published this year, CLASP also published studies of the AC markets in Vietnam, Thailand and Kenya. In India, where ceiling fans account for about 20% of household electricity use, the Indian Bureau of Energy Efficiency revised the national energy standards for several types of fans this year, adopting policies expected to avoid 29 Mt CO₂ emissions by 2030.


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