Back in 2006, Malaysia took the awesome step of introducing energy efficiency labels on major energy guzzling appliances. Hurrah! But what do those bright yellow stars actually mean, and is it worth paying the extra moolah up front for them?
If you walk around any electrical shop, you might notice a prominently placed sticker in the corner similar to what you see on the left.
And because we’ve been trained from young to strive to get as many stars as possible in our homework books, we immediately understand that the more stars, the better.
Now, this is true.
The number of yellow stars show how energy efficient the product is, and the more efficient it is, the money money it’ll save in electricity bills in future. So it’s a no brainer to go for the full five stars right?
Then your eyes wander to the price tag, and you begin to think… “maybe not”. Five star efficient products are noticeably more expensive than their less starry counterparts. So how does an ordinary Joe like you and me decide whether the price is worth paying?
A bit about the rating
The ratings are regulated by Malaysia’s Energy Commission. It’s compulsory for importers and manufacturers of the following products to affix the labels onto the products before before being sold to you and me:
- Domestic fan
- Air conditioner (single split wall mounted type)
The figure that you see in great big star smack in the middle of the label is the energy rating, which you can just as easily arrive at if you count the number of yellow stars fanning the rainbow on top. Duh.
More interesting is the estimated total annual energy consumption, listed below it. This figure is determined by recognised laboratory tests, also listed on the label. Even more interesting is a percentage figure that allows you to compare the savings of this product vs the lowest 2-star rated product.
Let’s talk dollars and cents
For this bit I am going to refer to some great calculations done by our friends over at Building Sector Energy Efficiency Project (BSEEP), a national project to reduce greenhouse gases from the building sector in Malaysia.
It compares the energy usage of a conventional electrical product (2-3 star) against a top ranking 5 star product, and breaks it down into RM savings per unit per year.
Then they calculate the yearly savings for a typical household (1 fridge, 6 fans, 2 TVs, 4 air conditioning units) for the grand total figure. In this case, it adds up to over RM1,400 in savings over the year. Now, that’s not too shabby. Not too shabby at all.
Well, RM1,400 may sound like a lot, but honestly, the prices of electrical goods these days are many times the amount of what you could save.
Don’t get us wrong – those savings will certainly help, and you’re doing a great deed for the environment too. But we’re saying that buying energy efficient devices is just ONE WAY to lower your energy usage. There are many, many more ways that can nip your energy usage in the bud – and we look forward to exploring these in our future blog posts.
Pssst… in the meantime however, do read about ACES, our energy saving device for split unit air conds. Up to 35% reduction immediately. Now that’s an example of a major saving 🙂