Sustainable Energy Authority discourages energy-wasting refrigerators from entering the market

Appliance energy labeling (MEP) is a key programme conducted by SLSEA

Damro, Singer, Abans now facilitating customers to purchase MEP refrigerators

About 30% reduction of electricity bills expected for a participating household

By Sanath Nanayakkare

The single largest expense item in the residential electricity bill is the refrigerator unless the particular house is air-conditioned. The effect is more pronounced when the refrigerator is ageing – typically past ten years of service. In this context, Sri Lanka Sustainable Energy Authority (SLSEA) launched a pilot refrigerator replacement project on 17th February 2023 at the BMICH. Simultaneously, a Minimum Energy Performance (MEP) label was introduced to 15 models of refrigerators offered by three major appliance Vendors; namely, Damro, Singer and Abans), allowing the customers to choose an efficient model in their next purchase.

The launch was held to encourage the refrigerator suppliers to join the voluntary energy labeling programme and create awareness of the MEP label for refrigerators among the general public.Appliance energy labelling programme is one of the key programmes conducted by SLSEA. The objective of this programme is to progressively reduce the energy consumption of appliances by encouraging energy efficient products to flourish in the market, while discouraging energy wasting products from entering the market. This is achieved by letting the buyers identify energy efficient products at the point of sale through a label carrying important energy usage information.

Once the scheme is elevated to a mandatory programme through regulation, it will be possible to prohibit the manufacturing, importation and sales of inefficient products in the country.Energy labels with star ratings will be gradually introduced to these appliances after the market adapts to MEP labels and stabilises. Display of the MEP label on refrigerators will be on a voluntary basis at present and it will be made mandatory within this year.

Residential electricity users are encouraged to purchase efficient refrigerators with MEP energy labels as a key measure helping to reduce their electricity bills as well as the cost of fuel imports to the country.

The pilot project aims to replace 1,000 old refrigerators with new MEP compliant and energy efficient refrigerators in the Western Province, saving 480,000 kWh of electricity per year. This translates to an approximately 30% reduction of electricity bills of a typical participating household.

The pilot project will be used to measure and document the actual savings and to test an elaborate network of disposal for the discarded refrigerators and related hazardous material. The pilot project is expected to be enlarged to cover the whole country, removing 500,000 units within five years, saving 500GWh of electricity (approximately 3% of national electricity use), SLSEA said.

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