South Asia’s first AC testing facility to be set up in Ja-Ela

For the first time in South Asia, a ‘Room Air Conditioner Test facility’ would be set up in Sri Lanka jointly by the Korea Energy Agency (KRIC) of and the Sri Lanka Sustainable Energy Authority.The Korea Energy Agency will fund this project with an investment of USD 200,000. Director, Korea Research Institute (KRIC) Um Gi Jeung said that globally over 70% of the electricity bill in houses and large hotels are for air conditioning. He said that that was as a result of high energy consumption, due to a result of faulty and high energy consumption by air conditioners.

“Our effort is to reduce this by testing current air conditioners that are installed and also check them at Customs.”

He said the first batch of equipment towards the setting up of this laboratory has been already imported. Deputy Director General Sustainable Energy Authority, Dr. Harsha Wickramasinghe said, “We will be setting up this lab at the LECO facility in Ja-Ela and it will be functional by the end of 2023.”

He also said that in Sri Lanka over 3% of households and 99% of hotels have air conditions and they have high energy consumption. “We will then test any air conditioner free of charge under a new ‘appliance labeling programme’. However from 2025 all importers would have to obtain the clearance of this laboratory before distributing AC in Sri Lanka.”

The Energy Label is introduced for energy efficient appliances which helps the customer to identify energy efficient appliances. This is similarly important to those suppliers who sell energy efficient products because the energy label becomes a promotional tool for their products. Energy labeling programms for CFLs, Ceiling fans and LED Lamps are already in operation effectively and these efforts are conserving more than 700GWh of electrical energy every year.

Dr. Wickramasinghe said that necessary legislature in this regard would be drawn up next year making new imported AC’s a pre certified product similar to a mobile phone that has Telecom Regulatory commission approval. The Sustainable Energy Authority will then be introducing energy performance labels for imported AC’s in collaboration with the Sri Lanka Standards Institution. Energy Labelling standard SLS 1586:2018 for room air conditioners is already published and other appliances such as Refrigerators, Air Conditioners, Electric Motors, Water Pumps, Rice Cookers and Gas Stoves are in the pipeline for future labelling programmes.

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