The Emirates propose standards to ban a fifth of air-conditioning units

By Sabine Lobnig, Mar 09, 2011, 17:46 2 minute reading

Up to one in five air conditioning units could be banned for failing to meet energy efficiency requirements in the United Arab Emirates. For the first time a Gulf country has taken on the task to set standard specifications with a new rating scheme to come into force next year.

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) Authority for Standardisation and Metrology (Esma) intends to rate window and split-unit systems from one to five. Five will represent the most efficient, with the various levels indicated to the consumer by a sticker on the exterior packaging. If the standards would come into force next year, up to 20% of the 400,000 units sold in the UAE today would not meet the minimum energy efficiency requirements. The UAE decided to propose energy efficiency standards as a means to put a halt to the huge amounts of energy consumed by air-conditioners: a 70% of all electricity used in the country.

Although energy efficiency ratings are common practice in the West, Esma’s initiative will be the first time a Gulf country has taken steps to limit energy consumption from cooling appliances.

Larger chiller units used to provide cooling in buildings, however, will not be affected.

The Emirates proposed energy ratings

Concretely, the scheme will be based on the following energy efficiency scales:
  • Maximum energy efficiency: Esma is using an international ranking of efficiency that divides the cooling capacity of each air conditioner by the total electrical input. A ratio of 10 or higher is considered the most energy efficient.
  • Minimum energy efficiency required: Esma has made a ratio of 5.9 its minimum requirement of energy efficiency.
Although largely welcomed by green groups as a step into the right direction, some UAE manufacturers lament that the standard would not set stricter minimum energy efficiency targets. However, manufacturers of energy-efficient appliances now hope that consumer would now be able to make an informed choice and not choose an air-conditioner that would consume more energy in one year worth more than its initial purchase price.

About Emirates Authority for Standardisation and Metrology (Esma)

ESMA was established as the sole standardization body in the UAE. It strives to provide quality solutions related to Standardization, Accreditation & Metrology, through issuing and implementing legislations and related programs exploit best practices, in order to provide safety, health and environment protection to the public.


By Sabine Lobnig

Mar 09, 2011, 17:46

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