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Singapore lifts green bar

The Singapore Government has announced it is raising the mandatory energy-efficiency standards of refrigerators and air-conditioners from next year. These two items typically make up half a household’s energy consumption. The standards for lights will also be raised, by 2014.

The National Environment Agency will also make it harder to qualify for the three- or four-tick energy efficiency classifications. Four ticks are the maximum. Those with no ticks cannot be sold.

Responding to questions about what measures the Government was taking to promote energy efficiency in households, Minister for the Environment and Water Resources Vivian Balakrishnan announced the tougher standards and added that the scheme might include television sets in future.

Dr Balakrishnan said that by removing inefficient models from the market, “consumers avoid being locked into the high operating cost of inefficient appliances”.

Manufacturers have been preparing for stricter standards. According to The Straits Times, Panasonic Asia-Pacific spokesman Christopher Lim said the company welcomes the move but added that the Government could have sought the views of affected companies before setting the standards. He said his company has seen more sales of its energy-efficient products. “Consumers are starting to understand the benefits of these products even if the initial cost of energy-efficient products may be slightly higher.”

This article was adapted from The Straits Times.

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