Various innovations have led to the current lifestyle of people. Out of all the products and services people generally see two things, the initial cost and sustainability of the product. Environmental concerns are also taken into consideration following the harmful effects. The government has put certain parameters in effect to measure the energy consumption and efficiency of various electronic products. In Singapore, people are familiar with the ticks system which is used for grading electronic appliances especially air conditioners or aircon units. These ticks give an idea of energy saving to the customer.
The ticks system is based on the Mandatory Energy Labeling Scheme (MELS) which was introduced in 2008. At that time the technology was quite undeveloped and hence a system of 0 to 4 ticks was kept for classifying different home appliances.
This rating system is designed to help the customers for choosing the best appliances in order to save energy and costs.
The MELS system was revised in September 2014 and shifted to a 5 ticks system with a minimum rating of 1 tick.
The concept of no ticks was often confusing for the customers and hence 1 tick was kept as the minimum limit for appliances.
Initially the range for each tick was quite vast which led to appliances with greatly different performance characteristics being placed in the same category. The MELS was revised again in 2015 such that the new system does not allow for models below the rating of 2 ticks to be sold in the market. The minimum rating of 2 ticks was implemented to encourage the manufacturers to improve the technology and provide better options for the customers.
Air conditioners’ rating was revised such that the most of the models which were assigned 4 ticks earlier were shifted to 2 ticks and a comparative rating was introduced till 5 ticks. At the time of introduction there were no products which could comply with the norms of 5 tick rating but with the passage of time there are a few models in the market today which offer a 5 tick rating. The new implementations also require the manufacturer to indicate the annual energy cost for using the product in a household environment.
The energy rating as per regulations now consists of an estimated cost with an assumed electricity cost. The new system works with regard to more stringent rules for classifying appliances. This makes sure that any outdated technology is not manufactured and that all the products in the market provide the best options to the people. The new and revised energy system is expected to provide various outcomes. This system works on simple set of rules.
5 ticks is the highest rating which can be given to an air conditioner (aircon). The minimum rating for air conditioners as per the new rules is 2 ticks. The air conditioners rated with a 2 ticks rating are not bad but rather old in their technology. Since the rating norms have grown more stringent the comparison between 5 ticks aircon vs 2 ticks aircon is not that much. In general cases a 2 tick aircon unit has 70 percent performance capability in comparison to an aircon unit with rated with 5 ticks as per the new norms.
There is a division of air conditioners for determining the efficiency. Large air conditioners with same technology are bound to consume more energy as compared to smaller ones. The air conditioners are differentiated with respect to their type and function also. The aircon are divided into prime categories: Casement and window type, single split type (non-inverter), multi-split (non-inverter), single split type with inverter and multi split type aircon with inverter. The air conditioners are also sub divided with respect to their capacity which is generally above or below 10 kW.
The aircon are classified in their efficiency on the basis of their coefficient of performance (COP) and standby power. For aircon with inverter facility the weighted COP is also taken into consideration for measuring their energy efficiency. The model with inverter must meet the weighted COP norms also in order to qualify for a certain energy rating.
COP for an air conditioner is the ratio of total cooling capacity of a unit with respect to the effective power consumption at the time of full load and cooling capacity. Weighted COP is calculated by taking 40 percent of the coefficient of performance at full load or 100 percent load capacity and the remaining 60 percent of the coefficient of performance at 50 percent loading capacity.
The standby power of the aircon is the power it consumes while in standby mode. This is measured in watts. The energy rating system is quite helpful to customers while buying electronic appliances as they can compare various products directly but there are certain points which need to be kept in mind while reading the energy saving tag. The energy rating system has been implemented with variable parameters for different appliances. The energy ratings and classifications can be assessed through the website of government. The 5 ticks rating system is only valid for aircon and cloth dryers as there is a 4 tick rating system for refrigerators. Currently available refrigerators do not perform with the efficiency of 5 ticks rating and hence a 5th band for performance has not been included for them.
The sellers have been given a relaxation period for the clearing the already manufactured lot. With this in effect, any appliances which are purchased by the seller before 1st September 2015 may be classified with regard to the old rating system.
The rating system is mainly expected to provide a few outcomes such as:
Helping the customers to choose the best product based on a clear indication of energy consumption and performance. Often, advertisements and other sources of information can be misleading for the customers but this clear indication of performance on every aircon unit will help the customers to easily make the best choice.
The government hopes to inculcate better innovation and techniques for the design of air conditioners and other electronic appliances. Since there are only a handful of appliances in the 5 ticks category there will be a healthy competition to attain that status. Also since most of the aircon units were reassigned a 2 ticks rating their manufacturers will strive to improve their technology as no one wants to provide appliances with the minimal compliance energy ratings.
As the technology develops there will be lesser strain on the environment due to better utilization of resources. Also the pollution factors and other corrugating elements associated with electronic appliances will be diminished greatly with implementation of these new guidelines.