Who is responsible for implementing Appliance Standards and Labelling?
The Department of Energy has the primary responsibility for establishing and overseeing Appliance Standards and Labelling. The establishment of Appliance Standards and Labelling Program in South Africa is being funded by the Global Environment Facility (GEF). The United Nations Development programme (UNDP) is responsible for administering the funds on GEF’s behalf. The implementation of Appliance Standards and Labelling is the responsibility of two entities:
- South African Bureau of Standards (SABS): SABS set the national standards and test procedures for the appliances. SABS also provides the facilities to test appliances to ensure that they conform to the MEPS and that they have been labelled correctly.
- National Regulator for Compulsory Specifications (NRCS): NRCS is responsible for enforcing and administering the Appliance Standards and Labelling regulations in South Africa.
Why has Appliances Standards and Labelling been introduced?
Appliance Standards and Labelling have been introduced into South Africa for the following reasons:
- To reduce the amount of electricity used to run appliances in South Africa.
- To reduce the cost to individual consumers of using appliances because the amount of electricity required to run appliances will be less.
- To reduce the amount of Carbon Dioxide emitted by power stations in South Africa as a result of the reduction in electricity demand.
- To incentivise manufacturers to produce more efficient appliances.
What are the objectives of appliance standards and labelling?
Appliance standards and Labelling has two objectives:
- To ensure that appliances sold on the South African market meet minimum energy performance standards.
- To ensure that consumers can easily understand the likely energy consumption of an appliance before purchasing the appliance.
What legislation regulates Appliances Standards and Labelling?
The National Energy Act No 34 of 2008 allows the Minister of Energy to make regulations on “labelling for energy efficiency purposes of household appliances, devices and motor vehicles” and the “prohibition of the manufacture, or importation or sale of electrical and electronic products and fuel burning appliances for reasons of poor energy efficiency”. The following relevant regulations have been promulgated:
VC 8043 Compulsory Specification for Incandescent Lamps R 74 7 Feb 2014 37228 VC 9006 Compulsory Specification for Hot Water Storage tanks for domestic use R 913 12 Aug 2016 40205 VC 9008 Compulsory Specification for Energy Efficiency and Labelling of Electrical and Electronic Apparatus R 944 28 Nov 2014 38232 VC 9091 Compulsory Specification for Single-Capped Fluorescent Lamps R 379 23 May 2014 37654
Which categories of appliances must display a South African Energy Efficiency Label?
The following appliances must be labelled with a South African Energy Efficiency Label of the size specified in the table:
Air Conditioners 110 mm X 200 mm Yes Dishwashers 110 mm X 200 mm Yes Electric Ovens 110 mm X 200 mm Yes Fridges and Freezers 110 mm X 200 mm Yes Storage Water Heater 110 mm X 200 mm Yes Light bulbs (Electric lamps) 55 mm X 100 mm Optional Tumble Dryers 110 mm X 200 mm Yes Washer-dryers 110 mm X 200 mm Yes Washing Machines 110 mm X 200 mm Yes
Are there specifications on how the South African Energy Efficiency Label should look and be used?
Yes, there are very detailed specifications for the design and the use of the label. These requirements are specified in a variety of South African National Standards that have been published by the South African Bureau of Standards. A guide to energy efficiency labelling has been developed to assist retailers and manufacturers to understanding labelling requirements.
What would the cost be of the energy required to run an appliance?
When purchasing an appliance, it is important to understand how much energy it will use and as a result how much money it costs to run the appliance. Appliance Energy Calculation tools were created to aid consumers to make more informed decisions by calculating the long term cost for running an appliance. The calculation tools also estimate the CO2 emissions of running various appliances.
In addition, an Appliance Energy Calculator app has been designed. This app assists consumers to estimate the running costs of various appliances using the information supplied on the South African Energy Efficiency Label attached in-store.
What are Minimum Energy Performance Standards (MEPS)?
South Africa has put in place regulations that require appliances sold in South Africa to meet Minimum Energy Performance Standards (MEPS). MEPS define the minimum level of energy performance that an appliance must meet or exceed before it can be sold. MEPS regulations have been put in place to protect consumers from purchasing appliances that use a wasteful amount of electricity and it is illegal to sell appliances on the South African market that do not meet or exceed the MEPS that are defined in the regulations. For example, all air conditioners sold in South Africa must have a rating of Class B or better.
The following MEPS have been specified:
Air Conditioners Minimum Energy Efficiency Rating of Class B Audio-visual Equipment In passive standby mode power consumption should not exceed 1 W, except for set-top boxes which must not exceed 3 W Dishwashers Minimum Energy Efficiency Rating of Class A Electric Ovens (Large) Minimum Energy Efficiency Rating of Class B Electric Ovens (Small & Medium) Minimum Energy Efficiency Rating of Class A Freezers Minimum Energy Efficiency Rating of Class C Fridges Minimum Energy Efficiency Rating of Class B Fridge-freezers Minimum Energy Efficiency Rating of Class B Storage Water Heater Minimum Energy Efficiency Rating of Class B Tumble Dryers Minimum Energy Efficiency Rating of Class D Washer-dryers Minimum Energy Efficiency Rating of Class A Washing Machines Minimum Energy Efficiency Rating of Class A
What is a Letter of Authority (LOA)?
In terms of the Appliance Standards and Labelling regulations, manufactures and importers must have a Letter of Authority (LOA) issued by the National Regulator for Compulsory Specifications (NRCS) before an appliance can be sold in South Africa. The LOA verifies that the particular appliance conforms to the Minimum Energy Performance Standards (MEPS) specified for that particular category of appliance. LOAs are valid for a period of 3 years.
How can a manufacturer or Importer apply for a Letter of Authority (LOA)?
The steps that need to be followed to apply for a Letter of Authority (LOA) are outline in the Letter of Authority section of the website.
What can happen if manufacturers and importers do not conform to the Appliance Standards and Labelling regulations?
In terms of section 15 of the National Regulator for Compulsory Specifications Act No 5 of 2008, if the NRCS finds an appliance that does not conform to the Appliance Standards and Labelling regulations it can:
- ‘Take action to ensure the recall of a commodity or product’
- ‘Direct in writing that the importer of the consignment returns it to its country of origin’
- ‘Direct in writing that the consignment or batch of the article concerned be confiscated, destroyed or dealt with in such other manner as the Board may consider fit’
How can non-compliance with Appliance Standards and Labelling be reported?
Appliances that are carrying a false label or that do not comply with the Minimum Energy Performance Standards (MEPS) can be reported to the NRCS.
How are non-compliant appliances prevented from entering South Africa?
The NRCS has signed a memorandum of agreement with the Customs and Excise component of SARS. In terms of this agreement no importer will be granted market entry into South Africa for appliances that fall under the scope of Appliance Standards and Labelling that do not have a LOA issued by NRCS.