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Tick Ratings For Aircon Units 

With the technology that is quick in evolving, various innovations have led to the current lifestyle of people. Out of all the products and services people generally see two things, the initial cost and sustainability of the product. Environmental concerns are also taken into consideration following the harmful effects. The government has put certain parameters in effect to measure the energy consumption and efficiency of various electronic products. In Singapore, people are familiar with the ticks system which is used for grading electronic appliances, especially air conditioners or aircon units. These ticks give an idea of energy saving to the customer.

The National Environment Agency (NEA) of Singapore is a public organization that strives for a sustainable environment through various campaigns and efforts. One of which is through the creation and usage of energy labels with green tick measurements to help layman consumers better identify energy-efficient appliances. 

What do the ticks on energy labels mean?

The ticks system is based on the Mandatory Energy Labeling Scheme (MELS) which was introduced in 2008. At that time the technology was quite undeveloped and hence a system of 0 to 4 ticks was kept for classifying different home appliances. This rating system is designed to help the customers choose the best appliances in order to save energy and costs.

The more the number of ticks, the better the appliance’s relative energy efficiency. The objective of the tick rating system is to help consumers quickly identify more efficient models.

Energy efficiency is measured differently using different energy performance metrics – coefficient of performance (COP) for aircon units, annual energy consumption (AEC) for fridges, and Energy Consumption (EC) per wash for dryers, among others.

In simple terms, an appliance that uses less electricity to produce a particular output is more energy-efficient than another appliance that uses more electricity resulting in the same output that will have a direct impact on your electricity bill.

The MELS system was revised in September 2014 and shifted to a 5 ticks system with a minimum rating of 1 tick. The concept of no ticks was often confusing for the customers and hence 1 tick was kept as the minimum limit for appliances.

What is MEPS?

The Minimum Energy Performance Standards (MEPS) are the minimum standards that appliances need to meet in order for them to be approved for use by consumers. MEPS removes the least energy-efficient appliances from the market, and in doing so raises the average energy efficiency of household appliances. If a product does not meet the MEPS level, it will not be allowed to be sold in Singapore. The NEA keeps a continuous effort to improve energy efficiency standards to help Singapore households be more energy-efficient and ultimately combat climate change, resulting in a more sustainable environment. Back in June 2021, NEA had announced that they will raise the MEPS level for four appliance types, that starting from 2022, these four appliances must have at least two green NEA ticks before they can be sold:

1) Refrigerators

2) Clothes dryers

3) Casement aircon units

4) Window-type aircon units

In the same announcement, split-type aircon units will have their MEPS raised by 7% within the NEA two-tick range, which means that less energy-efficient models (below the new 2-tick standards) will not be allowed to be sold in Singapore.

NEA Energy Label: Tick Rating for Aircon Units:

Aircon units are broken down into two main categories:

1) Residential type aircon units that encompass casement, window, single-splits, and multi-split aircon units.

2) Commercial type aircon units that refer to VRV/VRF aircon units.

From 2022 onwards, the minimum required ticks would be 2 ticks for all residential types of aircon units to be sold. Based on a minimum of 2 ticks, here is what each tick represents on the energy efficiency level for NEA Labels:

2 Ticks: Fair

3 Ticks: Good

4 Ticks: Very Good

5 Ticks: Excellent

The criteria for energy usage for each tick range is not fixed and has been constantly evolving as NEA pushes for a more sustainable Singapore where manufacturers are encouraged to introduce products with greater energy efficiency usage. One example would be in 2014, when there was a revision in the energy labels that put most models from 4 ticks under the old system, to 2 ticks in the newly revised format. Therefore, as technology progresses, higher efficiency models will be the minimum requirement to be sold in Singapore.

What are 5 Tick Ratings for aircon units?

1- Tick Rating

This is the lowest tick rating that an aircon unit can have. It is not advisable to buy this type of aircon unit because it will cost you a lot of money to run monthly.

2- Tick Rating

This is a good energy rating, although it will use a large amount of power to cool your house.

3- Tick Rating

A three-tick rating aircon unit has very good energy efficiency with a coefficient of performance ( COP) of between 3.34 and 3.06.

4- Tick Rating

This rating is an excellent energy rating because your aircon unit uses less energy to cool or warm your house. That means you will spend less on power, even if you have to keep your aircon unit on all day long.

5- Tick Rating

A 5 tick aircon unit rating is the highest tick rating and is found on high-end aircon units. These aircon units have the highest energy efficiency and can lower your energy costs significantly. They will also help reduce your carbon footprint.

‍Such aircon units will last a long time since they have less wear and tear. It is crucial to mention that a 5 ticks rating aircon unit will run at a lower than normal capacity and still keep your home comfortable.

What can you expect with these aircon unit tick ratings?

1) Helping the customers to choose the best product based on a clear indication of energy consumption and performance. Often, advertisements and other sources of information can be misleading for the customers but this clear indication of performance on every aircon unit will help the customers to easily make the best choice.

2) The government hopes to inculcate better innovation and techniques for the design of aircon units and other electronic appliances. Since there are only a handful of appliances in the 5 ticks category there will be healthy competition to attain that status. Also since most of the aircon units were reassigned 2 ticks rating their manufacturers will strive to improve their technology as no one wants to provide appliances with minimal compliance energy ratings.

3) As the technology develops there will be less strain on the environment due to better utilization of resources. Also, the pollution factors and other corrugating elements associated with electronic appliances will be diminished greatly with the implementation of these new guidelines.


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