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Energy Conversion and Management 43 (2002) 22252233

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Potential electricity savings by implementing energy labels


for room air conditioner in Malaysia
T.M.I. Mahlia *, H.H. Masjuki, I.A. Choudhury
Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Malaya, 50603 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Received 24 April 2001; accepted 7 September 2001

Abstract
As a result of rapid economic growth in the past, the usage of residential electrical appliances for the last
two decades has increased rapidly in Malaysia. Like other developing countries with hot and humid climates, she has been experiencing dramatic growth in the number of air conditioners from 13,251 units in
1970 to 253,399 in 1991, and it will be about 1,511,276 in the year 2020. In order to reduce energy consumption in the residential sector, the Department of Electricity and Gas Supply considers implementing
energy labels for household electrical appliances, including room air conditioners, sometime in the coming
year. The purpose of the energy labels is to provide consumers a guideline to compare the energy eciency
of the appliances. This paper attempts to calculate the potential electricity savings by implementing energy
labels for room air conditioners in this country. The potential electricity savings is predicted based on three
scenarios, namely, minimum expected, nominal and maximum expected. The study found that in the energy
savings view point, introducing energy labels for this appliance is very benecial in this country. 2002
Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.
Keywords: Energy labels; Energy used; Appliance labeling; Room air conditioner

1. Introduction
Energy labels enable consumers to compare the energy eciency of appliances on a fair and
equitable basis. It also encourages manufacturers to improve energy performance of the appliance. Usually, energy eciency standards and labels come together. The energy eciency standards for room air conditioners in Malaysia has been discussed in Ref. [1]. Standards are more on

Corresponding author. Tel.: +60-3-7967-5283/7959-5283; fax: +60-3-7967-1581/7959-5317.


E-mail address: indra@fk.um.edu.my (T.M.I. Mahlia).

0196-8904/02/$ - see front matter 2002 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.
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Nomenclature
AEIrac
annual eciency improvement of room air conditioner (%)
s
rac
applicable stock in year i of room air conditioner
ASi
ASrac
i1 applicable stock in year i  1 of room air conditioner
EER energy eciency ratio
energy savings in year i of room air conditioner (kW h)
ESrac
i
l
year labels enacted
lifespan of room air conditioner (year)
Lrac
label energy consumption of appliance (kW h/yr)
LECrac
l
number
of room air conditioners in year i
Narac
i
rac
Na i1 number of room air conditioners in year i  1
number of room air conditioners in year i  L
Narac
iL
rac
room air conditioner
s
year of standard enacted
standards
energy consumption of room air conditioner (kW h/yr)
SECrac
s
rac
scaling factor in year i of room air conditioner (%)
SFi
shipments in year i of room air conditioner
Shrac
i
shipment survival factor in year i of room air conditioner
SSFrac
i
total eciency improvement of room air conditioner (%)
SEIrac
l
rac
UESl initial unit energy savings of room air conditioner in year of labels enacted
(kW h/year)
year i of shipment of room air conditioner
Yshraci
year predicted
Ypd
year of survey conducted of room air conditioner
Ysc
year target calculation for room air conditioner
Ytcrac

the technical setting of energy eciency, while labels educate consumers about the relative eciencies and/or operating cost of various units. The energy labels act as an indicator telling the
potential buyer how energy ecient the product is. By introducing appropriate energy labels,
room air conditioners with the best energy ratings and most competitive price are more likely to
be sold in large numbers. Labels are not only to set a guideline of eciency that manufactures
should follow, but it also encourages them to improve their product while keeping their cost low
to win the market. Some energy labels also show the operating cost of the model over some
period, often one year. Other labels display the rate of eciency of the appliances. The labels must
be displayed in the front part of each product and their packaging so that the consumers get the
information at the time of purchase. Egan [2] found that labels work most eectively when a
spread of model eciencies exists in the market. There are numerous models, types and brands of
room air conditioners currently sold in the Malaysian market, therefore this is an important sign
to develop energy labels for this appliance. This study calculates the potential electricity savings
by implementing energy labels for room air conditioners in Malaysia.

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2. Survey data
2.1. Household and electricity data
The data necessary for this study are the electricity data and room air conditioner ownership
data. These data from 1970 to 2020 in Malaysia are given in Table 1 [1].
2.2. Grades of room air conditioners
The distributions of room air conditioner EERs are predicted based on the survey data.
The survey, conducted in 1998 of around 79 brands and about 2182 models has shown that
about 587 model room air conditioners had reached EER 10. Today, due to manufacturing efciency improvement, there should be more room air conditioners reaching two digit EERs [1].
These data are then predicted using an annual eciency improvement, which is 1% [3].
The future distribution of room air conditioners EER data can be calculated by the following
equation:
rac Ypd Ysc
EERrac
EERrac
i
Ysc 1 AEIi

The room air conditioner EER from 2002 to 2010 range from 10.00 up to 13.00 [3]. Therefore,
in the label grades, only room air conditioners with EER more than 13.00 fall into grade A. The
minimum scale of the EER in the labels is 10. This is due to the minimum energy eciency
standard allowed, and the maximum scale is P13.00, due to the expected further increment of
EER in the future. The grades of the labels have been divided into seven classes. The proposed
room air conditioner grades data with respect to EER are shown in Table 2.

Table 1
Predicted electricity consumption and household data
Year

Total (GW h)

Residential (GW h)

Household

Room AC

1970
1980
1990
2000
2001
2002
2003
2004
2005
2006
2007
2008
2009
2010
2020

2175
7912
19 469
52 300
61 151
66 159
71 368
76 779
82 390
88 203
94 217
100 433
106 850
113 468
190 721

326
1348
3897
9471
11 081
11 986
12 927
13 905
14 919
15 969
17 055
18 178
19 337
20 532
34 480

1 890 282
2 503 974
3 428 142
4 662 762
4 803 299
4 946 941
5 093 688
5 243 539
5 396 495
5 552 555
5 711 720
5 873 989
6 039 363
6 207 842
8 063 382

13 251
57 340
229 187
528 792
565 779
604 044
643 586
684 406
726 504
769 879
814 532
860 462
907 670
956 155
1 511 276

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Table 2
Room air conditioners grades data with respect to EER
EER

Letter grade

Central value

10.0010.49
10.5010.99
11.0011.49
11.5011.99
12.0012.49
12.5012.99
P13.00

G
F
E
D
C
B
A

10.25
10.75
11.25
11.75
12.25
12.75
13.25

Table 3
Room air conditioner labels input data
Description

Values

Standards EER
Labels EER at F, D and B
Baseline energy consumption
Label energy consumption
Labels eective period
Year labels enacted
Appliance lifespan
Average cooling capacity
Annual eciency improvement
Discount rate

10.00
10.75, 11.75 and 12.75
2700 kW h/year
2511, 2298 and 2117 kW h/year
6 years
2002
12 years
10692 Btu/h
1%
7%

2.3. Room air conditioner labels input data


The energy consumption of room air conditioners is projected into the future with and without
labels. Energy savings are calculated based on the dierence between the energy consumption with
and without labels. The annual energy savings are functions of the business-as-usual scenario
(standards energy consumption), eciency trends, historical and projected appliance shipments
and retirement rate of room air conditioners. To calculate the room air conditioner impact, some
input data have been identied, which are presented in Table 3 [3].

3. Methodology
Potential energy savings by room air conditioners labels are calculated based on the standards
EER. To calculate the energy impact of room air conditioner labels, some essential calculations
have to be made. Those essential inputs are appliance shipments, number of appliances aected by
labels, scaling factor and shipment survival factor. The descriptions of each variable are given in
the following section.

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3.1. Initial unit energy savings


The initial unit energy savings is the dierence between the annual unit energy consumption of
the labels and the unit energy consumption by the standards using the same capacity and usage
data as the baseline. This is calculated by the following equations:
rac
rac
UESrac
l SECs  LECl

3.2. Shipment
Shipment data comprise the number of room air conditioners in the predicting year minus the
number of room air conditioners in the previous year plus the number of retired room air conditioners in the current year. The shipments of room air conditioners are calculated by the following equation:
rac
rac
Narac
Shrac
i  Na i1 Na iL
i

3.3. Shipment survival factor


The shipment survival factor is a function of the annual retirement rate, the retirement function
and the lifespan of room air conditioners. The shipment survival factor for this appliance is
calculated using the following equation:
 rac

Ytc  Yshraci  2=3Lrac
rac
SSFi 1 
4
4=3  2=3Lrac
3.4. Applicable stock
Since the eective period of the labels is shorter than 2/3 of the lifespan of room air
conditioners, the applicable stock is the shipments in a particular year plus number of appliances
aected by labels in the previous year. The applicable stock is calculated by the following
equation:
rac
Shrac
ASrac
i
i ASi1

3.5. Energy savings


The energy savings is the number of appliances aected by the labels that still exists in the
particular year multiplied by the unit energy savings associated with each labels grade. Since the
standards are static, there is no scaling factor used in calculating the energy labels. The room air
conditioners energy savings by labels can be calculated by the following equation:

ESrac
i

T
X
rac
ASrac
i UESl
il

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4. Results
The labels aect all shipments because all room air conditioners are sold in the year the labels
are enacted, which is 2002. This is similar to the proposed standard enactment. The eective
period of the labels depends on the standards, which is shorter than 2/3 of the lifetime of room air
conditioners. As a result, the shipment survival factor is 100%.
The potential electricity savings of the energy labels are calculated based on three scenarios
(SC), which are the central value of each labels grade. The scenarios are minimum expected
(SC-1), nominal (SC-2) and maximum expected (SC-3), which is correlated to labels grades F, D
and B, respectively. The potential electricity savings by implementing energy labels for room air
conditioners in Malaysia is presented in Table 4 and Fig. 1. The business-as-usual scenario for
calculating the energy impact of the labels is the standards energy consumption. The calculation
Table 4
Electricity savings by the labels
Year
2002
2003
2004
2005
2006
2007
2008

Labels savings (kW h)


SC-1

SC-2

SC-3

50 548 428
105 914 277
166 338 900
232 064 028
303 330 825
380 381 022
463 455 783

107 515 704


225 277 986
353 800 200
493 596 504
645 179 850
809 064 396
985 763 094

155 924 516


326 709 119
513 098 300
715 837 716
935 671 275
117 334 4634
1 429 601 701

Fig. 1. Electricity savings by the labels.

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Fig. 2. Electricity consumption BAU(STD) vs labels.

Table 5
Household electricity consumption with and without labels
Year
2002
2003
2004
2005
2006
2007
2008

Electricity consumption (GW h)


STD

SC-1

SC-2

SC-2

11 933
12 831
13 779
14 779
15 831
16 940
18 108

11 882
12 725
13 613
14 547
15 528
16 560
17 644

11 825
12 606
13 425
14 285
15 186
16 131
17 122

11 777
12 504
13 266
14 063
14 896
15 767
16 678

results of the business-as-usual scenario and labels energy consumption are presented in Fig. 2.
The annual household energy consumption with and without energy labels from the year 2002
until 2008 for each scenario is presented in Table 5 and illustrated in Fig. 3.

5. Conclusion
Introducing energy labels as a pair of standards for room air conditioners oers great benets
for consumers and governments, as well as the environment. Many sectors in Malaysia will get
tremendous benets by implementing energy labels for this appliance. Consumers might pay
higher prices for appliances but, luckily, will receive lower electricity bills. The analysis concludes

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Fig. 3. Household electricity consumption with and without labels.

that there is an advantage for Malaysia to implement energy labels for this appliance as soon as
possible. The EER grade of room air conditioners is only eective for a certain period of time
because the annual energy eciency of room air conditioners is continuously improving 1% per
year due to technological advances. After a certain period, the EER of the appliance will accumulate in the highest labels grade, and the label will lack eectiveness. Therefore, the room air
conditioners EER grade should be re-evaluated after a certain period in order to make it work
eectively.
Acknowledgements
The authors would like to acknowledge the Ministry of Science, Technology and Environment
for nancial support under IRPA grant no: 02-02-03-0471.
References
[1] Masjuki HH, Mahlia TMI, Choudhury IA. Energy Conver Mgmt 2001;42:43950.
[2] Egan K. Building national standards regimes: Regulatory and voluntary approaches in the Philippines and
Thailand. Bangkok; 1998.
[3] Mahlia TMI. Energy eciency standards and labels of room air conditioners for Malaysia PhD thesis. University of
Malaya, Kuala Lumpur; 2001.

T.M.I. Mahlia holds Ir. From University of Syiah Kuala, Indonesia, M. Eng. Sc. from University of Malaya and he just submitted
his Ph.D. thesis to the University of Malaya. He is presently a lecturer in the Department of Mechanical Engineering, University
of Malaya.

T.M.I. Mahlia et al. / Energy Conversion and Management 43 (2002) 22252233

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H.H. Masjuki holds a B.Sc. (Hons), M.Sc., and Ph.D. from Leeds University, UK. At present, he is a Professor at the Mechanical
Engineering Department University Malaya. His main interests are tribology and energy eciency.
I.A. Choudhury holds M. Eng. from Asian Institute of Technology, Thailand, M.S. from Arizona State University, USA and Ph.D.
from Dublin City University, Dublin, Ireland in Mechanical Engineering. He is presently a lecturer in the Faculty of Engineering at the
University of Malaya. His researches are energy conservation, machine tools and machining.