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Cooling Benchmarking Study Compares Air Conditioner Efficiency in Major World Economies

The Cooling Benchmarking Study was carried out by CLASP in partnership with Econoler, Navigant, CEIS and ACEEE. It provides policy makers and energy efficiency program managers with tools and important insights for developing or updating test procedures, labels, and minimum energy performance standards (MEPS) for room air conditioners (RACs). It also enables the comparison of MEPS stringency and RAC efficiency under various test procedures and energy efficiency (EE) metrics that are currently used in major world economies.

The ability to compare RAC efficiencies and MEPS stringency across economies enables policy makers and EE program managers to better understand RAC efficiency possibilities, and can lead to technology diffusion.

The Challenge of RAC Efficiency Evaluation Across Economies

Room air conditioners (RACs) represent a major share of energy use in most countries, and often contribute significantly to electrical grid peak loads. Furthermore, the number of RACs used in developing countries is rising rapidly due to an increase in living standards and a reduction in the price of these products globally. This has resulted in a rapid increase in electricity demand and energy consumption caused by the RAC load in the commercial and residential sectors of many countries.

Though RACs impact energy demand significantly and are traded worldwide, there is a lack of assembled information on market characteristics as well as on existing MEPS and labeling schemes implemented in different economies. In addition, it is difficult to compare the performance criteria and policy measures for RACs across economies because of the differences in testing procedures and formulas used to derive seasonal efficiencies from individual laboratory tests.

Cooling Benchmarking Study:  A Tool for Policy Makers and S&L Program Developers

The study’s review of efficiency and stock trends in the RAC market in various economies provides background data to help policy makers analyze how their market compares with global trends. The study also performs an in-depth review and comparison of the testing procedures used in major economies, leading to the derivation of conversion functions between metrics used in different economies. In addition, ranking criteria allow comparison of the stringency and performance of residential and commercial RAC EE standards and labeling (S&L) programs implemented by countries around the world.

The study focused on the comparison of EE performance and policy measures for RACs with a cooling capacity of up to 19 kW used in the residential and commercial sectors of the following eight economies: Australia, China, the European Union, Japan, India, Korea, Taiwan and the United States.

The publication includes the following components:

Cooling Benchmarking Study policy factsheet:

Cooling Benchmarking Study summary:

Cooling Benchmarking Study report:

Mapping component:

Benchmarking component:

Testing component:


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