Energy Efficient Appliances
07-Jan-2018


Do you know that an average home actually causes more air pollution than the average car? This is due to more energy utilization in our homes which comes from the power plants burning fossil fuel. This electricity supplied to our homes power the lighting, cooling, heating and electronic gadgets. As we are aware that the cost of electricity has and will be increasing further in March 2017. Thus, saving energy is our top priority which also saves money. By using energy-efficient appliances, households can considerably save on their electricity bills.  

Once you visit any hyper electronic market, mall or home appliances center, the gadgets looks pretty much the same from outside, with different colours, forms and designs but do we realize that they vary greatly in terms of energy-efficiency and operating costs? The more energy-efficient an appliance is, the less it costs to run. Thus, if we lower our electricity consumption and bill, it will also protect our environment.

Usually when we buy electronics, we buy based on price (often on sale), model and manufacturer rather than our actual need, energy consumption and pollution potential.  First, we need to first assess the number of users, capacity required, location where to keep the appliance, price and its estimated energy use. So once you are in for buying, ask about special energy-efficient items and related discount offers. 

Bahrain like other GCC countries is also embarking on taking strict measures to adopt energy efficient labeling and importing only safe and efficient appliances. The label on the items will mention the estimated energy consumption of the appliance. Reading the Energy Guide label will help you to compare the efficiency or annual energy use with other competing brands and similar models.

The recent news is that as part of the GCC strategy to save power, electrical appliances that are not energy efficient will no longer be imported into the country. The list includes 13 household items including AC units, microwaves, washing machines, water heaters, refrigerators and other appliances. All imports will now bear a special logo stating if the product meets new energy efficient standards set by the GCC Standardization Organization (GSO). Other non- standard products will not allowed to be imported from this year. However, the old stocks available in the market can still be sold by the retailers.

The GSO has established committees in all six Gulf countries to unify the standards for products. Since the inception of GSO in 2004, more than 23,000 standards for different commodities like cars, construction materials, electronics and other products have been issued. This was in line with the customs union and the common market of the GCC states. The GSO standards are similar to those set by Europe, US, UK and other developed countries. As part of 2016- 2020 strategy, they are focused on promoting energy efficient products in Gulf countries. For example, all new cars sold have to mention fuel efficiency while AC units have a minimum energy labeling requirements. This means they all have the G-logo and have star rating.

Energy Star is the symbol for energy efficiency. It’s a label created by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy to help consumers save money and minimize air pollution. An appliance receives the Energy Star rating if it is significantly more energy efficient than the minimum government standards, as determined by standard testing procedures. 

Modern appliances, such as, freezers, ovens, stoves, dishwashers, and clothes washers and dryers, use significantly less energy than older appliances. For example current energy efficient refrigerators use 40% less energy than conventional models did in 2001. If all households in Europe change their more than ten-year-old appliances into new ones, 20 billion kWh of electricity would be saved annually, hence reducing CO2 emissions by almost 18 billion kg. In the US, the corresponding figures would be 17 billion kWh of electricity. 

Let us start auditing our existing and in use appliances and electronic gadgets and see which needs replacement to save on energy consumption and its allied cost.

Head of Waste Disposal Unit, Supreme Council for Environment, Bahrain (email: rahmed@sce.gov.bh) 


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