Ghana is operating a Mandatory Appliance Standards and Labelling regime under which importers and retailers of Room Air Conditioners and Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFL) are required to import and sell ONLY products that meet minimum efficiency and performance standards approved by the Ghana Standards Board.
The Energy Efficiency Standards and Labels Programme is designed to ensure that only appliances that meet minimum energy efficiency standards enter the Ghanaian market. In accordance with the provisions of the Energy Efficiency Standards and Labelling (Non-ducted Air Conditioners and Self Ballasted Fluorescent Lamps)Regulations, 2005 (LI1815) appliance manufacturers who export to Ghana and retailers who sell in Ghana are obliged to display a label which indicates the energy efficiency rating of the product before the first retail sale.
It is an offence under LI1815 to import, display for sale or sell Air Conditioners and Compact Fluorescent Lamps in Ghana unless they meet the minimum performance standards and are properly labelled.
Refrigerating Appliance Standards
Domestic refrigeration appliances account for a significant portion of the residential electricity consumption and are also usually the first major appliance to be purchased by households in Ghana. Refrigerating appliances last for 10 – 15 years and cost the consumer much more in electricity consumption than the purchase price. Hence considering the cost of using the appliance before making purchase decisions cannot be overemphasized.
In the refrigeration cycle, there are five basic components: fluid refrigerant; a compressor, which controls the flow of refrigerant; the condenser coils (on the outside of the fridge); the evaporator coils (on the inside of the fridge); and something called an expansion device. All these interact to cool and preserve your food.
The compressor constricts the refrigerant vapor, raising its pressure, and pushes it into the coils on the outside of the refrigerator. When the hot gas in the coils meets the cooler air temperature of the kitchen, it becomes a liquid. Now in liquid form at high pressure, the refrigerant cools down as it flows into the coils inside the freezer and the fridge. The refrigerant absorbs the heat inside the fridge, cooling down the air. Lastly, the refrigerant evaporates to a gas, and then flows back to the compressor, where the cycle starts all over.
Previously, the Ghanaian refrigerating appliance market comprised mainly of used refrigerating appliances due to the absence of regulatory controls to curb imports and sales of inefficient used refrigerating appliances and air conditioners. These used and refurbished appliances had been a major cause of high energy consumption, health hazards and CO2 emissions. Hence with the introduction and full enforcements of Legislative Instruments (LI 1815, 1958, 1932) in 2012, we have seen a transformed appliance market.
The energy performance of a refrigerating appliance is measured and specified in terms of an energy efficiency index (EEI). The EEI provides an indication of the annual energy consumption (AC) relative to a reference consumption that is based on the storage volume and the category of the refrigerating appliance. The lower the EEI, the more efficient the appliance is and therefore the less energy it consumes. The EEI of various sizes of the refrigerating appliances are classified into corresponding star ratings. The higher the star rating, the higher the efficiency and the less energy it consumes.
Air Conditioner Standards
Room Air Conditioners are high energy consuming appliances. They usually last for 10 – 15 years and cost the consumer much more in electricity than the purchase price of the appliance. Because of this it is more useful to consider the Life Cycle cost of appliances before making purchase decisions.
The Life Cycle Cost of an appliance is the Purchase Price plus the cost of operation and maintenance throughout the useful life of the appliance. Many consumers in Ghana, purchase air conditioners and other high energy consuming appliances, without considering the cost of use of the appliance. Many manufacturers export products which are substandard to Ghana and many Ghanaian consumers patronize them without an idea of how much it will cost them to operate the appliances.
The minimum energy efficiency standard for air conditioners to be acceptable in Ghana is an Energy Efficiency Ratio (EER) of 2.8 watts of cooling per watt of electricity input. This is equivalent to 9.55BTU/Watt. (The imperial unit measure of energy efficiency used in the United States and Canada). Air Conditioners with EER of 3.5 and above are available on the market.
The higher the EER the more efficient the product. The Energy Guide label affixed to the product provides important information on the model, manufacturer, and energy efficiency star rating (a one-star to five –star energy efficiency rating in which the ascending number of stars represents a higher energy efficiency ratio), estimated annual energy consumption, cooling output and type of refrigerant.
Consumers are advised to purchase ONLY labelled Air Conditioners and must look out for units with higher Energy Efficiency Ratios as they are more energy efficient and cost less to operate.
Compact Flourescent Lamps (CFL)
In April 2003 the Government of Ghana removed import duties and VAT on Compact Fluorescent Lamps, commonly called Energy Saving Lamps to make them affordable to the general public as a measure to save energy and reduce electricity cost paid by consumers. To further protect consumers against fake, sub-standard and unreliable Compact Fluorescent Lamps, some of which have found their way onto the Ghanaian market, the Energy Foundation, the Energy Commission and the Ghana Standard Board have also introduced a Performance and Efficiency Standard for Compact.
Certified Appliance Application(APP)
As provided under Section 2 (Objective and Functions of the Commission) of the Energy Commission Act, 1997 (Act 541), the Energy Commission has the responsibility of promoting energy efficiency and productive uses of electricity, natural gas and petroleum products. It is as a result of this mandate that the Commission, over the years, has taken measures to promote energy efficiency measures by operating a mandatory appliance standards and labeling regime. Under this regime, importers and retailers of appliances such as refrigerators, air conditioners and lighting appliances are required to import and sell only products that meet minimum efficiency and performance standards.
As part of the strategy to ensure that these regulations are being adhered to, the Energy Commission has established web-based database with related application (APP) for refrigerating appliances, air conditioners and lighting appliances.
This application (APP) enables consumers to verify whether the appliances meet the minimum standard set by the Commission before acquisition.
The APP also equip users to find the nearest distributing and retail outlet with compliance performance for these appliances via google map or phone contact as well as energy efficiency and conservation tips for the usage of refrigerating appliances, air conditioners and lighting appliances.
To download the Application (APP), simply launch google play store on your android phone and search for “Certified Appliance APP” and install. Enable your google location and start using the application to verify regulated appliances before acquisition.
To verify an appliance, simply enter the model number of the appliance into the search pane, and then compare the results with information available on the yellow label of the appliance. Look out for star rating, annual energy consumption, refrigerant, climatic class etc. for verification.
Fluorescent Lamps (CFLs)
Under the new standard, CFLs should have a minimum service life of 6,000 hours. The lamps should also have a minimum efficacy of 33 lumens per watt. This means the lamp should provide a minimum of 33 lumens of light per each watt of electricity consumed. The Energy Guide label also provides the consumer with information on the lamp’s wattage, average rated life in hours, and an estimate of the lamp’s energy consumption for a year, as well as the lamp’s energy efficiency star rating.
What Consumers must know
- Remember the more stars on the label the more energy efficient the product.
- Always look for the Efficiency Label.
- If a product is not labeled, it is probably not good.
Ghanaian consumers now have the information to make a well informed and energy efficient decision when buying Air conditioners and CFLs.
|Energy Foundation Ghana||
|5 East Legon Rd||