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Review of Vietnamese Rice Cooker

Standards
A report for the Vietnam Energy Efficiency Standards and
Labelling (VEESL) Program
August 2014

Prepared for the Department of Industry (Australia)

Produced by

Kevin Lane, Mark Ellis

Executive Summary

This report provides an analysis of the current rice cooker energy efficiency regulations In Vietnam
and examines the options for the potential revision of the relevant test standard and performance
requirements.
The main conclusions that can be drawn from the analysis presented in this report are:

There is no agreed international testing procedure for rice cookers, though many aspects of
the test procedure are similar across countries in the region.

The currently required time of four minutes of cooking in TCVN 8252: 2009 is too short to
provide a sufficiently accurate or reliable estimate of cooking efficiency.

There is a currently a reasonable spread of efficiency of rice cookers on the Vietnamese


market, so no change in the label performance requirements is necessary at this stage,
although this should continue to be monitored.

The performance requirements do not currently make distinction for the size (or power) of
the rice cooker, whereas most other countries have stricter requirements for large rice
cookers. Addressing this issue in Vietnam could mean a slight increase in the MEPS
requirements for the larger products.

Some neighbouring countries include non-cooking modes in their requirements, specifically


the keep-warm and the standby modes.

Recommendations for testing standard

The main suggested change to the test method (TCVN 8252: 2009) is to increase the temperature
rise during the energy performance test. It is recommended that the test duration of four minutes
cooking time is replaced by the requirement to conduct the test until the water reaches a
temperature of 90oC.
To align it with other countries in the region, it is also recommended to alter the start test
temperature to 23oC 2oC. This is a minor change, and should not result in any significant change in
the measured energy performance of the products under test.
In addition, it is suggested that the test procedure specifies that, in order to calculate the cooking
efficiency, the average of all four tests should be used (Clause 5.2.3). This will provide a more robust
average for the efficiency calculation.
Recommendations for performance requirements

Since the current market shows a good spread of efficiency of products on the market, no major
change in performance requirements is recommended. However, we do recommend that
performance requirements are more closely linked to the size of rice cookers, as indicated by their
power rating. Recommended new MEPS levels are shown in the following table.
Proposed new MEPS requirements
Rated Power, P (Watt)

Minimum heat efficiency (%)

P< 400
400 <P <= 600
600 < P <= 800
800 < P <=1000
1000 < P <= 2000

80
81
82
83
84

It is suggested that the labelling requirements should remain linked to the energy efficiency index
(K). Therefore, if higher MEPS requirements for larger rice cookers are adopted, the energy efficiency
requirements for each label grade will also be higher for the larger rice cookers.
VEESL REVIEW OF VIETNAMESE ELECTRIC RICE COOKER STANDARDS, AUGUST 2014

Contents
Executive Summary ............................................................................................................. i
1

Introduction .................................................................................................................. 1

Current requirements in Vietnam ................................................................................. 2

Examining the testing methods ..................................................................................... 3

3.1
3.2
3.3

4
4.1
4.2
4.3

5
5.1

6
6.1
6.2

International test methods ............................................................................................................ 3


Test methods used in the region ................................................................................................... 3
Potential for harmonisation and amending the testing standard ................................................. 6

Examining MEPS and label performance levels ............................................................. 7


Performance levels used in the region .......................................................................................... 7
Current market performance....................................................................................................... 11
Potential for harmonisation and amending performance standards .......................................... 15

Transitional arrangements .......................................................................................... 17


Key Procedures ............................................................................................................................ 17

Conclusions and recommendations ............................................................................. 19


Conclusions .................................................................................................................................. 19
Recommendations ....................................................................................................................... 19

Potential improvements to the regulations ................................................................. 22

References .................................................................................................................. 22

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Figures
Figure 1: Proportion of registrations by efficiency grade (from registration database and label survey)
...................................................................................................................................................... 12
Figure 2: Reported efficiency index (K) of all registered rice cookers, ordered by efficiency .............. 13
Figure 3: Efficiency (K) registered rice cookers versus capacity (litres) ................................................ 13
Figure 4: Efficiency (K) registered rice cookers versus rated power (W) .............................................. 14
Figure 5: Reported average cooking efficiency (%) of the 20 models of rice cookers .......................... 15
Figure 6: Grandfathering and transitional arrangements for the introduction of revised labelling
requirements ................................................................................................................................ 18
Figure 7: Impact of revised MEPS on registered products (March 2014 database) ............................. 20

Tables
Table 1: Energy efficiency grade given in TCVN 8252: 2009 and the implied efficiency ........................ 2
Table 2: Detailed comparison of regional testing standards .................................................................. 5
Table 3: China MEPS and label requirements ......................................................................................... 7
Table 4: Hong Kong MEPS requirements ................................................................................................ 8
Table 5: Thailand MEPS requirements .................................................................................................... 8
Table 6: South Korea label levels for rice cookers................................................................................... 9
Table 7: Japan Top Runner standard targets ........................................................................................ 10
Table 8: Distribution of efficiency rice cookers (Market survey, March 2014) ..................................... 11
Table 9: Distribution of efficiency rice cookers (registration database, March 2014) .......................... 12
Table 10: Proposed new MEPS requirements ....................................................................................... 20
Table 11: Proposed efficiency thresholds for MEPS and label requirements ....................................... 20

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Acknowledgements
The authors would like to thank staff at the Australian Department of Industry for their assistance
with this report.
Project Manager: Mark Ellis, Mark Ellis & Associates, Australia

Disclaimer
The authors have made their best endeavours to ensure the accuracy and reliability of the data used
herein, however make no warranties as to the accuracy of data herein nor accept any liability for any
action taken, or decision, made based on the contents of this report.

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Introduction

The Government of Vietnam has introduced legislation to implement Minimum Energy


Performance Standards (MEPS) for appliances and equipment alongside a program of Energy
Labelling. The Australian Government Department of Industry (DoI) is providing assistance to
Vietnam through the Vietnam Energy Efficiency Standards and Labelling (VEESL) Program, funded
by the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID).
The aim of the VEESL Program is to improve prosperity in Vietnam, while increasing energy security
and reducing carbon emissions. This will be achieved through a range of activities designed to build
sustainable capacity within Vietnam to set and enforce appliance and equipment energy standards,
and monitor and evaluate the MEPS and Labelling Program.
The legislation to implement MEPS and energy labelling for appliances and equipment came into
effect during 2013. This has required new products to meet minimum energy efficiency
performance levels and, in many cases, be required to display an energy label at the point of sale.
However, these standards have now been in place for some time, and Vietnam Standards and
Quality Institute (VSQI) and Ministry of Industry and Trade (MOIT) are seeking to update the
regulations for rice cookers.
This report provides an analysis of the current rice cooker regulations and examines the options for
the potential revision of the relevant test standard and performance requirements.
The report will cover the following aspects:
1. Current regulations for rice cookers.
2. Opportunities for improving the test method.
3. Opportunities for improving MEPS and label performance levels.
4. Transitional issues for updated regulations.
5. Conclusions and recommendations.
This report has been compiled by consultants with extensive experience of product-related policy
who are providing direct assistance and advice to the VESSL Program. The conclusions and
recommendations contained in this report are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect
the opinions and positions of either the Australian or Vietnamese governments.

VEESL REVIEW OF VIETNAMESE ELECTRIC RICE COOKER STANDARDS, AUGUST 2014

Current requirements in Vietnam

The current testing and performance requirements for rice cookers are given in TCVN 8252: 2009
and are summarised below:

Scope: electric rice cooker for family use, up to a capacity of 3 litres.

Shall meet performance and safety requirements in TCVN 5699-2-15: 2007 (IEC 60335-215: 2005), Household electric appliances and similar electric appliances - Safety- Part 2-15:
Specific requirements for liquid boiling appliances.

Testing of cooking efficiency is done using the following steps:


o

Add water to 80% of maximum capacity,

Heat the water for 240 seconds, measure the energy,

Stir the water for 20 second and measure the temperature rise,

Repeat four times and take the average values of the last three readings,

Calculate the energy efficiency ratio, Rd(%), which is based on the ratio of energy
out (additional thermal energy of the liquid and the inner pot at a higher
temperature) over the energy in (electricity),

Minimum energy efficiency performance standard (MEPS) is (Rd(%)=) 80%.

The Energy label grades are based on and energy efficiency index (K) - which is the ratio of
the measured efficiency over the minimum efficiency requirement. Note that this index can
be multiplied by 0.8 to give the implied energy efficiency. The efficiency Grade thresholds
are presented in Table 1 in terms of the energy efficiency index and the implied efficiency.

Table 1: Energy efficiency grade given in TCVN 8252: 2009 and the implied efficiency
Grade

Energy Efficiency Index (K)

Implied efficiency (%)

1.00

80%

1.05

84%

1.10

88%

1.15

92%

1.20

96%

The effective date of the regulation is July 2013.

VEESL REVIEW OF VIETNAMESE ELECTRIC RICE COOKER STANDARDS, AUGUST 2014

Examining the testing methods

Before examining the performance requirements in Vietnam, and examining options for amending
the requirements, it is important to understand the underlying testing requirements. This section
will examine regional testing standards and compare them to international testing standards.

3.1 International test methods

There is no international standard specifically for the testing the efficiency of rice cookers; different
countries develop their own, sometimes borrowing testing practice from neighbouring countries.
There is, however, an internationally recognised standby power testing method. Standby or equivalent
low power loads can be measured by IEC 62301:2011 Ed2 Household Electrical Appliances:
Measurement of Standby Power.

3.2 Test methods used in the region


3.2.1 Test methods for cooking efficiency

In this section a UNDP report by Liu et al (2012) provides a useful insight into the different testing
procedures, along with the Vietnamese standard. In summary, there are major similarities across
the countries, which are:

Instruments used to perform the tests,

Parameters that are measured,

Ambient testing conditions, such as ambient temperatures.

The main differences are:

Ways of heating:
o

In the Chinese testing procedure, the pot is heated from the initial temperature to
90oC,

In the Indonesian testing procedure, the pot is heated from initial temperature to
95oC,

In the Korean and Vietnamese testing procedure, the pot is heated for a fixed
duration of four minutes. After four minutes of heating, the temperature rise is
significantly less than 90oC. A four minute temperature rise means the test can be
done quickly. However, it also has implications for providing sufficiently accurate
results. With a lower temperature rise, the accuracy of the testing equipment
becomes a greater factor. Indeed this was apparent and highlighted in the
independent witness testing of rice cookers at three QUATEST laboratories (Subsection 4.2.5).

Warm-keeping and standby power consumption:


o

Vietnam does not include these operating modes in the requirements, unlike Japan
and China.

Heat or cooking efficiency calculation formula:


o

In both Vietnam and Indonesia, the heat efficiency calculating formulas include the
heat absorbed by the inner pan in the heat efficiency calculation formulas In China
only the heat absorbed by the water is included. These different calculation
methods make the results of the heat efficiency incomparable. If both the heat
absorbed by water and the inner pan are taken into account, the efficiency will be
higher than the case where only the heat absorbed by the water is considered).

VEESL REVIEW OF VIETNAMESE ELECTRIC RICE COOKER STANDARDS, AUGUST 2014

Based on the Liu et al (2012) report and a CLASP database on product polices, a more detailed
comparison of the test methods used in the region is presented in Table 2. The calculation formula
to convert the test measurements into efficiency metrics is also included for some countries.

VEESL REVIEW OF VIETNAMESE ELECTRIC RICE COOKER STANDARDS, AUGUST 2014

Table 2: Detailed comparison of regional testing standards


Test conditions:
Relative humidity
Test conditions:
Environmental
temperature
Test conditions:
Water temperature
Test conditions:
Power voltage
Test conditions:
Power frequency
Test conditions:
Air pressure
Test of thermal
efficiency
Water volume
Test duration
Temperature rise

Vietnam
45-75%

Indonesia
45-75%

20oC 2oC
20oC 2oC

23oC 2oC

China
45-75%

Hong Kong
45-75%

Japan

South Korea
45-75%

20oC 2oC

20oC 2oC

23oC 2oC

20oC 2oC

23oC 2oC

220V 10%
50Hz 0.5Hz
86k-106kPa

80% of rated capacity (litres)


240 seconds
n/a

86k-106kPa

80% of rated
capacity (litres)

Calculation formulae of
energy efficiency level
(%)

Rated power
voltage 1%
86k-106kPa

23oC 2oC
220V+/-10%

100 1 volts

220V+/-10%

50 0.5 Hz

50 0.1 Hz, or
60 0.1 Hz

60 0.6 Hz

80% of rated capacity


(litres)
n/a
temperature of water
is raised up to 95oC

Test of standby power


n/a
n/a
consumption (W)
Test of keep warm
n/a
n/a
power consumption (W)
Source: Based mainly on Liu et al (2012) and CLASP online database

VEESL REVIEW OF VIETNAMESE ELECTRIC RICE COOKER STANDARDS, AUGUST 2014

Energy
consumption
under 4 tests
Manufacturer
specification

80% of rated capacity


(litres)
240 seconds
n/a

n/a
n/a

3.3 Potential for harmonisation and amending the testing standard

Even though there is no internationally recognised testing procedure for rice cookers, the approach
taken is very similar within the region. In the case of Vietnam, there are a few aspects which could
be altered to bring it in line with neighbouring countries.
For Vietnam, a small change to the test conditions would be to have the starting test temperature
at: 23 2, rather than 20oC 2oC. This is a minor change and would have little impact on the
final efficiency results, but would mean it is harmonised with other countries in the region.

The main change that is needed for the Vietnam cooking test is to have a larger temperature rise
(beyond the amount that could be reached in four minutes) to reduce the variation in testing
results. There are two potential solutions:

Choose a longer cooking time. Since there is no other country in the region with a longer
fixed cooking time, the Vietnamese regulators could unilaterally choose a value, say 20
minutes.

Alternatively, the regulators could use a fixed temperature rise. The regional harmonisation
options would be either 90oC or 95oC.

This would have little significant difference on the calculated efficiency value, but would
significantly improve the accuracy of the efficiency measured in the laboratory.
In addition, there may be merit in considering the following:

Include keep warm and standby measurements (though these would only be needed if
there was regulatory requirement to include these). These are used in some neighbouring
countries.

Ideally, any changes to the regulations would not be done in isolation or unilaterally; it would be
done in discussion with neighbouring countries to ensure the most appropriate aspects are
included.

VEESL REVIEW OF VIETNAMESE ELECTRIC RICE COOKER STANDARDS, AUGUST 2014

Examining MEPS and label performance levels

4.1 Performance levels used in the region

Since the underlying test procedures are not entirely consistent across the region it is not possible
to undertake a direct comparison of the performance levels. It would be possible to make
assumptions on how to translate results from one test standard to another (with a reasonable
degree of accuracy) if sufficient test data to the different standards were available
Although these are not entirely comparable (especially the heating/cooking efficiency), the
performance requirements from neighbouring countries are listed in the following sub-sections.
Most of the following are based on information from the Liu et al (2012) report.

4.1.1 China

The Chinese standard (GB 12021.6: 2008) provides the testing and performance requirements. The
requirements make a distinction on size (rated power, W), such that the more powerful the rice
cooker, the stricter the requirements.
Table 3: China MEPS and label requirements

Heat Efficiency (%)

Rated Power (W)

Energy Efficiency Grades


1

P400

85

81

76

72

60

400<P600

86

82

77

73

61

600<P800

87

83

78

74

62

800<P1000

88

84

79

75

63

1000<P2000

89

85

80

76

64

Rated Power (W)

Warm-keeping Energy Consumption (Wh)

P400

40

400<P600

50

600<P800

60

800<P1000

70

1000<P2000

80

In addition, there is a standby requirement of a maximum of 2W, and 1.6W for products listed
efficiency grade of 3 and higher.

VEESL REVIEW OF VIETNAMESE ELECTRIC RICE COOKER STANDARDS, AUGUST 2014

4.1.2 Hong Kong MEPS requirements

Where the Hong Kong testing tends to follow the Chinese standards, the MEPS requirements are
based on slightly different efficiency calculations, so the requirements are not directly comparable.
However, the same product power (rated power, W) classifications are used to set the
requirements.
Table 4: Hong Kong MEPS requirements
Rated Power P, (watt)

Minimum Allowable Heat Efficiency, %

P 400

84

400 < P 600

85

600 < P 800

86

800 < P 1000

87

1000 < P 2000

88

4.1.3 Thailand MEPS requirements

Thailand also uses product rated power (W) as a criteria to impose more stringent performance
levels on larger rice cookers, and its MEPS efficiency requirements seem slightly stricter (by 1%)
than the Hong Kong requirements. The rated power classifications are the same as China and Hong
Kong.
Table 5: Thailand MEPS requirements
Rated Power P, (watt)

Minimum Heat Efficiency, %

P 400

85

400 < P 600

86

600 < P 800

87

800 < P 1000

88

1000 < P 2000

89

4.1.4 South Korea MEPS requirements

South Korea has different requirements depending if plate or induction heating and whether the
appliance is a pressure or non-pressure rice cooker. There are also standby requirements for the
highest efficiency (level) products.
South Koreas MEPS and label energy efficiency grades are determined for each rice cooker
classification, as seen in the following four sub-tables (Table 6) where R is the rated cooking
efficiency (%). The MEPS requirement thresholds are at Level 5.

VEESL REVIEW OF VIETNAMESE ELECTRIC RICE COOKER STANDARDS, AUGUST 2014

Table 6: South Korea label levels for rice cookers


Plate heating in non-pressure rice cookers
Level
1
2
3
4
5

Rated Energy Efficiency (R)


94% <=R
90%<= R <94%
86%<= R < 90%
82%<= R < 86%
78%<= R < 82%

Plate heating in pressure rice cookers


Level

Rated Energy Efficiency (R)

1
2
3
4
5

94% <=R
90%<= R <94%
86%<= R < 90%
82%<= R < 86%
78%<= R < 82%

Induction heating in non-pressure rice cookers


Level

Rated Energy Efficiency (R)

1
2
3
4
5

92% <=R
92%<= R
88%<= R < 92%
84%<= R < 88%
80%<= R < 84%

Induction heating in pressure rice cookers


Level

Rated Energy Efficiency (R)

1
2
3
4
5

90% <=R
90%<= R
86%<= R < 90%
82%<= R < 86%
78%<= R < 82%

Standby power
(W)
(no load mode)
<=1.0
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A

Standby power
(W)
(no load mode)
<=1.0
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A

Standby power
(W)
(no load mode)
<=3.0
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A

4.1.5 Japanese requirements

A different calculation methodology to the other countries, using different operating modes, and
requirements based on the top runner approach.

VEESL REVIEW OF VIETNAMESE ELECTRIC RICE COOKER STANDARDS, AUGUST 2014

Table 7: Japan Top Runner standard targets


Category

Heating method

Electromagnetic
induction heating
products

Non-electromagnetic
induction heating
products

Maximum rice cooking


capacity
0.54 =>Capacity <0.99
0.99 =>Capacity <1.44
1.44 =>Capacity <1.80
1.80 > Capacity
0.54 =>Capacity <0.99
0.99 =>Capacity <1.44
1.44 =>Capacity <1.80
1.80 > Capacity

Category
name
A
B
C
D
E
F
G
H

Calculation equation for


standard energy
consumption
EK=0.209M + 48.5
EK=0.244M + 83.2
EK=0.280M + 132
EK=0.252M + 132
EK=0.209M + 36.7
EK=0.244M + 75.6
EK=0.280M + 99.0
EK=0.252M + 122

Notes:
The maximum rice cooking capacity shall be determined by multiplying the volume of the measuring cup
specified by the manufacturer (liter) by the maximum number of cups that the product is designed for.
EK and M represent the following numerical values:
EK: Standard energy consumption efficiency (kWh per year)
M: Mass of evaporated water (this is the mass of the water expelled from the rice cooker when electric power
consumption is measured for each rice cooking operation, and is the mean value of the mass of evaporated
water obtained at every measurement of electric power consumption during cooking rice. The mass of the
water expelled from the rice cooker is calculated by subtracting the measured weight of the rice cooker within
1 minute after completion cooking prior to opening the lid from the weight of the rice cooker containing water
and rice prior to the start of cooking. It is expressed in grams and rounded off to 1 decimal place).
Source: Liu et al (2012) quoting: http://www.eccj.or.jp/top_runner/index_contents_e.htlm

4.1.6 Summary

In summary, the major similarities and differences include:

Several countries set increasingly stringent MEPS and labelling requirements for rice
cookers which are larger (or rather more powerful). They do this by setting different
performance requirements for products within set power ranges or bins. Usefully, many
countries in the region use the same bin sizes.

Japan uses a top runner approach, and a more complex calculation methodology.
Furthermore, Japan uniquely uses the capacity (litres) to set up four size bins for different
requirements.

China and Japan includes standby and keep warm function in their efficiency requirements.

The cooking/heating requirements are different in each country; though without a detailed
analysis not immediately possible to tell how different they are in practice (since the
threshold values are based on different testing standards, so they are not entirely
comparable). For example the Chinese efficiency calculation does not include the
additional heat in the inner pot, whereas Vietnam does: thus, the efficiency figures are not
comparable.

Based on the above analysis there is scope to consider some alignment, depending on the
performance of products in Vietnam, and this is discussed in the following section.

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4.2 Current market performance

The evidence for the efficiency of products on the market comes from three main sources:

Analysis of a store labelling survey.

Analysis of the registration database.

Testing of 20 models of rice cookers, each one tested in three QUATEST laboratories.

4.2.1 Store labelling survey

The VEESL project undertook a labelling survey in March 2014. The survey of 5,375 individual
appliances in 263 stores located in Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC), Qung Tr and Can Tho provides
a useful snapshot of progress with implementation of energy performance labelling in Vietnam.
Around 16% (846 out of the 5.375) of the products surveyed were rice cookers. This survey involved
the visual inspection of products in stores to ascertain whether models within the scope of
regulations are displaying the label correctly (DoI, 2014). The distribution of efficiency of rice cookers
on the market is given in Table 8.
Table 8: Distribution of efficiency rice cookers (Market survey, March 2014)
Efficiency
level

Number

Proportion (%)

Grade 1

46

7%

Grade 2

115

18%

Grade 3

176

27%

Grade 4

186

28%

Grade 5

132

20%

TOTAL

655

100%

From the 2014 labelling survey it is evident that there is a reasonable spread of efficiency of products
on the market, though higher grades are being used more than the lower grades, so there is a need
to continue monitoring the market to see when a re-grading of the efficiency thresholds is needed.

4.2.2 Product registration database

As part of the VEESL project, the team had access to the MOIT product registration database, (up to
25 March 2014), which records the declared performance of products currently covered by
regulations in Vietnam. The registrations were done by an Officer at MOIT entering the suppliersubmission data into an Excel spreadsheet. This database has been cleaned up and analysed.
Although, there is scope for error (from input and interpretation), and the database may not be fully
populated, it provides a useful resource for understanding what is being placed on the Vietnamese
market (or at least registered with MOIT). The distribution of efficiency of rice cookers registered
with MOIT is given in Table 9

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Table 9: Distribution of efficiency rice cookers (registration database, March 2014)


Efficiency
level

Number

Proportion (%)

112

9.7%

299

26.0%

365

31.7%

151

13.1%

223

19.4%

TOTAL

1,150

100.0%

The efficiency distribution of products in the registration database is very similar to that found in the
labelling survey (which should be a better representation of the products actually found on the
market).
The two sets of data are compared graphically in Figure 1, which shows a good match, as expected.
The label survey shows slightly more high efficient products being placed on the market than in the
registration database.
Figure 1: Proportion of registrations by efficiency grade (from registration database and label
survey)

The registration data provides a more detailed insight into the efficiency of products being
registered; specifically the efficiency index (K) values which are used to determine the grade levels
(Figure 2 shows the efficiency index of almost 1500 rice cookers, ordered by their efficiency values).
All, except two, of the products in the registration database have been declared as meeting the
MEPS requirements, though a significant number are above the grade 5 threshold (K=1.2), and some
are reported to be much higher. This suggests that the MEPS could be made more stringent and also
that the label could be revised to better highlight those products significantly over the K=1.2
threshold.

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Figure 2: Reported efficiency index (K) of all registered rice cookers, ordered by efficiency

4.2.3 Efficiency by size

As part of the registration process, the capacity (in litres) and the power (W) have to be declared.
This allows analysis to see if any correlation between size and efficiency can be found.
Figure 3 shows the plot of efficiency (K values) against capacity (litres) of each products registered. It
can be seen that there is a clear (and statistically significant) correlation between efficiency and
capacity.
Figure 3: Efficiency (K) registered rice cookers versus capacity (litres)

A similar, though much less pronounced, pattern is observed when a plot of efficiency (K) and rated
power (W) is undertaken (Figure 4). This similarity is not unexpected as there is a strong correlation
between capacity and rated power.
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Figure 4: Efficiency (K) registered rice cookers versus rated power (W)

The efficiency versus capacity plots suggests that size should be taken into account when (re)
defining performance thresholds, since size is statistically correlated with efficiency: the larger the
appliance the higher efficiency, on average.
There are two main approaches to setting higher efficiency requirements for different sized
products:

Using size bins,

Using continuous curve functions.

The main advantage of using discrete bins is that they are usually easy to describe and understand.
However, if there are too few bins or the boundaries between them are not set in an appropriate
point, suppliers may (quite legally) adjust the declaration of their products attributes, or alter their
products so their products fit into the lower requirements bin. To avoid this situation, a larger
number of bins are required, or a continuous curve may be described.
For rice cookers, there appears to be a consistent set (number and size range) of bins already used in
the region, and it is recommended that these are followed, if this approach is adopted.

4.2.4 Summary

In summary, the analysis of the March 2014 registration database suggests the following for any
revision to rice cooker standards:

The efficiency distribution of products is slightly towards the top end of the efficiency scale;
therefore it is suggested to keep monitoring the market efficiency distribution to help
determine when a re-grading should be considered.

It appears that larger (capacity) rice cookers are more efficient than smaller ones. This
suggests that the performance requirements should be stricter for the larger products, as is
the case in several countries which use power bins to set requirements based on the input
power.

A noticeable number of products have efficiency index (K) values above 1.25, the value of which
would imply a cooking efficiency of over 100%. This suggests there may be some measurement
inaccuracy issues in the test or other declaration issues.

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4.2.5 Laboratory testing

Inter-laboratory comparisons were undertaken by the three QUATEST laboratories in Vietnam (Evans
and Lane, 2014). Each tested the same samples of 20 different models of rice cookers.
The main purposes of these trials were to provide:

A measure of the extent of the variation and uncertainty of results.

An understanding of the cause of these variations, in order to be able to advise MOIT and the
laboratories on steps that could be taken to minimise these variations.

The trials found a large variation in the star rating (up to 3 grades), which was due to the large
variation in the measured cooking efficiency. Figure 5 shows this variation by plotting a line between
the highest and lowest efficiency measurement from the three laboratories for each product. The
variation between the three laboratories is in part due to slightly different practices, though a large
reported difference was due to the test itself not providing sufficiently accurate and repeatable tests.
Figure 5: Reported average cooking efficiency (%) of the 20 models of rice cookers

NOTE: the efficiency reported by QUATEST2 as exceeding 100% was assumed to be an error (whether
measurement, or within testing tolerances)

The report from the testing and training program concluded that the variations in measuring the
cooking efficiency were largely due to the tolerances of the test being relatively large compared to
the temperature rise during the test. The Vietnamese test currently specifies a fixed four-minute
cooking time. This elapse time does not provide a large increase in temperature, relative to the
accuracy of the equipment and testing procedures. One of the main recommendations of the
laboratory testing was to increase the time of the test to get a larger temperature rise. This could be
done by having a longer test or by specifying a temperature rise for the test (as is done in some
countries).

4.3 Potential for harmonisation and amending performance standards

Since the efficiency of the cooking (heating) mode is the main performance metric used by most
countries, this would be the obvious metric to try to examine for potential harmonisation. However,
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since the underlying test standards are not entirely consistent across different countries, care needs
to be taken so that only appropriate harmonisation is undertaken.
There are potentially two areas that Vietnamese regulators could examine to improve future
regulation. These are:

Consider using having stricture requirements for larger rice cookers, using the same size
banding (by power rating) as used by several countries.

Consider including other non-cooking modes in the requirements, specifically the keep warm
function and no-load standby mode (as used in e.g. China).

Ideally, in making any of changes it would be prudent to have discussion with neighbouring countries
on their revision plans, and also consult with various stakeholders.

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Transitional arrangements

A report provided by the Australian Government to MOIT in September 2013, entitled Proposal for
grandfathering in VNEEP, identified the need to implement transitional arrangements when moving
from one set of product performance requirements to another.
These transitional arrangements enable industry to make the necessary adjustment to the products
that are placed on the market by the time that new requirements come into force; enable products
to be tested and registered in an orderly fashion to avoid excessive pressure on laboratories or
registration systems; and minimise the potential confusion to consumers of having different labels in
the market at the same time.
Most national regulatory Standards and Labelling programs around the world have agreed similar
transitional arrangements with industry. They:

Allow industry time to adjust to new requirements.

Provide time for laboratories to test products.

Provide time for products to be registered to new requirements.

Avoid confusion by retailers and consumers.

Minimise the time when two versions of the energy label appear in the market at any one
time.

Facilitate compliance monitoring.

Minimise market disruption & costs.

5.1 Key Procedures

To put in place effective transitional arrangements, the following important procedures should be
implemented and communicated to stakeholders:

Finalise the test method.

Finalise the new performance requirements.

Publish the date new requirement come into force (known as the effective date):
o

We suggest that at least 12 months is allowed from announcement to the effective


date to enable suppliers to start testing and registering to new standard.

Set a grandfathering start date:


o

Products manufactured or imported before this date do not have to meet new
requirements.

Products manufactured or imported after this date must meet new requirements.

We suggest that the grandfathering start date should be 12 months before


the effective date in order to avoid stockpiling of old products to
circumvent new regulations.

Set the relevant dates for registrations, including:


o

The date when the regulator will commence accepting registrations to the new
standard (known as the commencement of voluntary registrations to the new
standard).

It is suggested that this is the grandfathering start date.

The date when the regulator will cease to accept registrations to the old standard
(known as the commencement of mandatory registrations to the new standard).

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It is suggested that this is the effective date.

The date when registrations to the old standard will be superseded, effectively this is
a cancellation of the old registrations (made after the grandfather start date).

It is suggested that this is the effective date.

In order to claim grandfathering provisions for individual models, suppliers must provide evidence of
the date of manufacture or date of importation. All suppliers should be able to lodge a claim for
grandfathering status through the registration system and disclose that they will either:

Date stamp the product, or

Provide information on how the model serial numbers can be used to demonstrate the date of
manufacture.

5.1.1 Additional requirements for transition to new labelling requirements

Where there are existing labels for a product and these are being upgraded, it is extremely important
that the incoming label is distinguishable from the previous version. This can be achieved through
the use of different colours or the inclusion of a date on the label, while taking care that the overall
brand recognition of the label is not lost.

From 12 months before the effective date, suppliers may voluntarily register products
according to the new TCVN requirements and display the new label.

Figure 6 illustrates these arrangements for a labelling transition.


Figure 6: Grandfathering and transitional arrangements for the introduction of revised labelling
requirements

For example, if the new MEPS and labelling requirements for rice cookers were published in
September 2014, the corresponding dates could be as follows:
Grandfathering Start Date:

1 January 2015

Commencement of voluntary registrations to the new standard:

1 January 2015

Commencement of voluntarily display of new label:

1 January 2015

Effective Date:

1 January 2016

Commencement of mandatory registrations to the new standard:

1 January 2016

Cancellation of the registrations to the old standard:

1 January 2016

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Conclusions and recommendations

Based on the analysis above, some conclusions and recommendations can be made for amending the
Vietnamese regulations for rice cookers.

6.1 Conclusions

The main conclusions that can be drawn from the analysis presented in this report are:

There is no agreed international testing procedure for rice cookers, though many aspects of
the test procedure are similar across countries in the region.

The currently required time of four minutes of cooking is too short to provide a sufficiently
accurate and reliable estimate of cooking efficiency.

There is a spread of efficiency of rice cookers on the Vietnam market, so no major change in
the label performance requirements is necessary at this stage, although this should continue
to be monitored.

The performance requirements currently do not make distinction on the size (or power) of
the rice cooker, whereas most other countries have stricture requirements for large rice
cookers. Including a similar requirement would mean a slight increase in the MEPS
requirements for the larger products.

Some neighbouring countries include non-cooking modes in their requirements, specifically


the keep-warm and the standby mode.

These findings suggest that there is an opportunity to:

Amend the test procedure, specifically to revise the start test temperatures (to 23oC 2oC),
and to include a longer test time or larger temperature rise.

Include size (power) in the performance requirements, which could mean slightly higher
MEPS values for larger products.

Consider including standby and keep warm mode in the performance requirements.

6.2 Recommendations

In making the following recommendations an important step is that any proposed changes to the
regulations is done in discussion and consultation with various stakeholders, including neighbouring
countries which may also be considering changing their regulations. Aligning performance
requirements will make it simpler, and also cheaper, for the supplier to meet any new requirements.

6.2.1 Testing requirements

The main proposed change to the test is to increase the temperature rise in the test. The
recommendation is to ensure a temperature rise to 90oC, rather than a four minute cooking time.
This should mean a more accurate and repeatable estimate of cooking efficiency is made.
To align it with other countries in the region, it is also recommended to alter the start test
temperature is to 23oC 2oC. This is a minor change, and should not result in any significant change
in the measured energy performance of the products under test.

6.2.2 Performance requirements

The current market shows a good spread of efficiency of products on the market, so no significant
change in performance requirements is recommended. However, we do recommend that size is
included in the performance requirements and that the bins are aligned with neighbouring countries,
as shown in Table 10.

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Table 10: Proposed new MEPS requirements


Rated Power, P (Watt)

Minimum heat efficiency (%)

P< 400

80

400 <P <= 600

81

600 < P <= 800

82

800 < P <=1000

83

1000 < P <= 2000

84

Using the energy efficiency index (K) to set the labelling requirements should remain, as in Table 1.
However, with the higher MEPS requirements for larger rice cookers, the efficiency requirements for
each label grade will also be higher for the larger rice cookers. The proposed efficiency thresholds for
the label grades are shown in Table 11. Higher MEPS and a scaling of 1.2 for Grade 5 (as shown in
earlier Table 1) implies an efficiency of over 100%, so for the current proposal the maximum
efficiency is capped to 98% (in bold in Table 11).
Table 11: Proposed efficiency thresholds for MEPS and label requirements
Rated Power, P (Watt)

Minimum heat
efficiency (%)

Grade 1

Grade 2

Grade 3

Grade 4

Grade 5

P< 400

80

80

84

88

92

96

400 <P <= 600

81

81

85.05

89.1

93.15

97.2

600 < P <= 800

82

82

86.1

90.2

94.3

98

800 < P <=1000

83

83

87.15

91.3

95.45

98

1000 < P <= 2000

84

84

88.2

92.4

96.6

98

The likely impact of such a revision to MEPS, based on the currently registered products, can be seen
in Figure 7 (where the red line is the new MEPS level and the green line represents the grade 5 label).
Figure 7: Impact of revised MEPS on registered products (March 2014 database)

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It should be noted that if the testing method is changed (as recommended), this should not alter the
measured efficiency of models but it will make the results more accurate. This could mean that some
of the existing declared values may need to be adjusted.

6.2.3 Standby and keep warm modes

Without further evidence it is not clear if the keep warm function and standby is an issue for rice
cookers in Vietnam, such that it needs to be addressed through product-specific regulation.
These operating modes will only be an issue if the products on the market have relatively high power
requirements (say >1-2 Watts for standby mode) and if they are used in these operating mode for
significant lengths of time in Vietnam. If no information can be found, and there is a strong desire to
include standby and/or keep warm functions, we would suggest an interim step. Before
recommending any additional regulation, we would recommend a short research project to:

Find out the likely standby (low) power demand of these products. Ideally desk-based but, if
necessary, to measure the standby and keep warm power demand of some rice cookers on
the market.

Find out the approximate use of these products in these two operating mode. If there is no
existing research, this could be done through simple householder interviews on their
typical/average use of rice cookers. The alternative, which would be more accurate though
more expensive, would be to undertake in-situ trials.

If these are important aspects, we would recommend that the performance requirements
match the Chinese standards initially.

6.2.4 Next steps

The proposed next steps should be to:

Review if the keep warm and standby mode is an issue for rice cookers in Vietnam.

Propose and agree changes to the test methodology for rice cookers.

Review any proposed performance requirements with relevant stakeholders, and amend as
necessary.

Once these steps are complete, make a signal to the market of the intended change to the
regulations in advance, and then change the regulations. (Section 5 has further details on
how to handle this).

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Potential improvements to the regulations

In addition to the changes in the performance requirements there is one minor suggested change for
the current test procedure:

To calculate the cooking efficiency use the average of all four tests, not just the final three
currently listed. This will provide a more robust average for the efficiency calculation. Note
this this may be an error in the English translation. (Clause 5.2.3)

References

DoI (2014) Survey of Energy Efficiency Labelling of Appliances in Vietnam. A report by VEESL. March
2014.
Evans, C and Lane, K (2014) Laboratory capacity and verification testing report. Prepared for the
Vietnam Energy Efficiency Standards and Labelling (VEESL) Program, funded by the Department of
Industry (Australia).
Liu, W; van Phan, L, and Arjadi, H (2012) TWG Feasibility Study Report on Enhancing Regional
Harmonization for the BRESL Products: Rice Cookers. A UNDP/GEF funded-report under the Barrier
Removal to the cost-effective development and implementation of energy efficiency standards and
labelling project. October 2012.
VEESL (2013) A Guide to Re-grading Energy Performance Labels. Produced by VEESL in 2013.

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