Standards for a Green Society

Seminar focuses on energy efficiency in Asia-Pacific region

By Dennis Chew

Many countries have introduced labelling programmes and minimum energy performance standards for electrical appliances. Most countries first focused on refrigeration appliances, which, after central heating, are the biggest domestic users of energy, because they run all the time. These measures were then expanded to cover a greater number of equipment such as lighting, washing machines, dryers, dishwashers, water heaters and even smaller appliances.

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Labels and standards go together

Apart from concerns for the environment, saving energy and money is the main driver for consumers when they acquire new energy-efficient appliances. Modern refrigerators, for instance, use at least 40% less energy than conventional models did 10 years ago. Investing in an energy-efficient fridge, freezer or integrated fridge/freezer can make a significant difference in household energy consumption and annual running costs.

Labelling programmes, which help consumers to compare the energy efficiency of the different appliances on sale, are usually complemented by minimum performance standards in the great majority of countries.

Several IEC TCs (Technical Committees) and SCs (Subcommittees) have introduced specific requirements that address the energy efficiency issue in the International Standards they are developing.

Standards for a green society

The ever increasing demand for “green” requirements in products prompted JISC (Japanese Industrial Standards Committee), in collaboration with IEC-APRC (IEC Asia-Pacific Regional Centre), to organize a regional seminar to promote awareness and developments in energy efficiency requirements in standards for electrical and electronic products, as well as the need for the harmonization of these requirements. The two-day event, hosted by the IEC National Committee of the Philippines, took place in Manila on 6-7 December 2011 and attracted more than 40 experts from 8 countries.

Why participate in the development of International Standards?

The keynote address was delivered by Setsuo Harada, Executive Advisor of JSA (Japanese Standards Association) and former IEC SMB (Standardization Board) member for Japan, who explained the need to be involved in international standardization from the perspectives of experts, products and organizations. He stated that, with active involvement of experts and organizations, both the individual and the organization would grow as involvement translates into a better understanding of the global market.

Standards for energy efficient products

Hiroshi Sasaki, Chairman of IEC SC 61C: Safety of refrigeration appliances for household and commercial use, and Jun Nakamura, member of IEC SC 59M: Performance of electrical household and similar cooling and freezing appliances, talked about the latest developments in their respective Subcommittee. Their presentation focused on refrigerators and stressed the need to encourage the use of the latest edition of IEC 62552Household refrigerating appliances - Characteristics and test methods.

In the area of energy efficiency for multimedia equipment, Tadashi Ezaki, Secretary ofIEC TC 100: Audio, video and multimedia systems and equipment, addressed current topics such as power consumption measuring methods, common battery charger interfaces, DC power supply for laptop personal computers and smart grid related activities.

Dr Takaaki Miyashita, JBMIA (Japan Business Machine and Information System Industries Association) made a presentation on the energy efficiency of office equipment.

In addition, Dr Takao Shiino, Nomura Research Institute, gave a presentation on energy saving in data centres, which will have a big impact on IT systems in the future.

The seminar also included presentations by participants from China, Indonesia, Korea, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore and Vietnam who shared their national perspectives in these areas.

Dennis Chew, Regional Director IEC-APRC, gave an update on the latest developments in the IEC and an overview of the IT tools that help experts participate more effectively in the IEC.

Networking opportunity

The seminar was an excellent opportunity to promote not only the latest trends in the IEC relating to the energy efficiency of electrical and electronic products but also served as an important networking opportunity in facilitating more active participation in the IEC. Following positive feedback from the participants, JISC and IEC will explore the possibility of organizing a future seminar under the theme of Standards for Green Society in 2012.

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Smart, energy efficient refrigerator Smart, energy efficient refrigerator
Singapore Mandatory Energy Labelling for household air-conditioners, refrigerators and clothes dryers Singapore Mandatory Energy Labelling for household air-conditioners, refrigerators and clothes dryers