x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

UAE air-con rating system set to slash emissions

All air-conditioning systems are to be graded on energy efficiency and their makers charged extra fees for less efficient products.

DUBAI // All air-conditioning systems are to be graded on energy efficiency and their makers charged extra fees for less efficient products.

The Emirates Standardisation and Metrology Authority (Esma) will rate them between one and five and label the ranking on each item.

The scheme was announced at the end of 2011, but now the Government has approved the first phase for air-conditioning units.

It will be gradually extended to all home appliances.

To improve the quality of appliances, manufacturers will be charged for each product on a sliding scale, depending on their efficiency rating.

All imported and local products subject to the rules will be rated by Esma before they can be sold.

A five-star appliance incurs no additional fee, but a product with just one star will cost its makers an extra Dh7, to be paid to Esma.

It is hoped the move will give the Government Dh400 million a year by 2016 in energy savings on air conditioners. It is also hoped the system will significantly reduce carbon-dioxide emissions.

"As a provider and subsidiser of energy this is a very important step for the Government, as it will free up resources that will in turn contribute to the growth of the economy," said Mohammed Badri, acting director general of Esma's conformity affairs department.

"We are committed to this initiative and products that do not have a star rating will not be allowed into the UAE.

"Those products sold here will all have the energy-rating labels to help consumers choose energy-efficient products that will reduce their own energy costs."

The system was designed with the help of industry experts and Bosch Home Appliances. It was modelled on rules from Australia and New Zealand.

"Manufacturers accept we need to take responsibility for the social and environmental impacts of our products and this means helping customers use them more sustainably," said Georg Kazantzidis, marketing manager of Bosch.

Other products to be addressed by Esma include cooling and refrigeration products, lights, water heaters, motors and water pumps.

By January 1 next year, all washing machines will also have to comply. Esma said it would revise the rules every two years to keep up with changing environmental standards.

ksinclair@thenational.ae