With 2016 being the hottest year on record, it comes as no surprise that the Singapore government has been encouraging consumers to switch to more environmentally-friendly and energy efficient products. As of September 2014, the NEA energy label was revised to reflect this focus with the new label being more readable & products being held to a higher rating standard.
Here's an overview on how to read the NEA Energy Label
Registered suppliers supplying registrable goods must affix the Energy Label on the units that they supply in Singapore. The Energy Label shall be affixed only after the National Environment Agency (NEA) has issued the Certificate of Registration (COR) for the model. Retailers are only allowed to display models that have the label affixed on them.
The design of the energy label for air-conditioners, refrigerators and clothes dryers was revised on 1 September 2014 to improve its readability and add new information such as the estimated annual energy cost of using the product. To ease the transition, registered goods purchased before 1 September 2014 may still be delivered with the old label.
How is this relevant to air-conditioning systems?
Air-conditioning systems are usually the largest energy-usage appliance in most people's homes. It therefore makes sense to get a system that will save you costs in the long run. Comparing various models, the savings could be up to $400 / year! This will usually offset the initial high cost of a high-efficiency model over a period of 2-3 years.
The air-conditioners are given a cost rating based on the premise that:
- the present energy rate is 27 cents per kWh
- the A/C is used for 8 hours a day for a year with 16 hours standby energy consumption
Let's see some figures...
Above are the two variants for the Mitsubishi Electric Starmex 3-Unit, 28000 BTU compressor models - on the left being the 2-tick version and on the right being the newer 5-tick version.
Although both gives you the same cooling capacity, if you had installed the 5-tick model, it would have saved you close to $440 annually. That's close to 40% savings!
While the 5-tick model would cost you close to $600-700 more on the initial installation cost, this can be recouped in less than 2 years through the long term energy savings. Considering present aircon systems have an average lifespan of about 7-8 years, this makes purchasing a 5-tick system a feasible option.
However, it is important to note that the ratings are only applicable if you use it daily for 8 hours everyday. If your household is one of those that seldom uses the air-conditioners, the difference in savings might not be as substantial.
*Note: While I had chosen to use Mitsubishi Electric as an example, the cost savings are thereabouts for all comparisons between equivalent 2-tick and 5-tick models, across all brands.
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For more information
For more information on the new label, visit the NEA's website below:
For a more comprehensive look at the database of rated products, click the link below: