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2-20

Consumer survey for air conditioning labelling revision and impactful AC energy efficiency policy in Thailand

Introduction

The Kigali Cooling Efficiency Program (K-CEP) is a philanthropic initiative to support the Kigali Amendment of the Montreal Protocol. K-CEP focuses on the energy efficiency of cooling to increase and accelerate the climate and development benefits of the Kigali Amendment to phase down hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs). The goal of this program is to raise cooling product energy efficiency levels, improve testing efforts, provide training and other capacity building activities targeted to local needs, and implement national market transformation initiatives.

CLASP has received a grant to support the implementation of K-CEP in priority countries in Southeast Asia, including Thailand. The focus of this work is on room air conditioners (ACs). In 2019, CLASP published a comprehensive characterization of the room AC market in Thailand, which provided an overview of the supply chain (imports vs. local manufacturing), origin and types of products, energy performance, refrigerants used, and ACs available for sale. Based on this research, CLASP conducted an analysis of the policy opportunities and impacts from updating minimum energy performance standard (MEPS) and the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (EGAT) No. 5 label for room ACs.

Energy labels are intended to drive consumers’ purchasing choices and can therefore strongly influence the effectiveness of energy efficiency programs. CLASP is now working with EGAT to understand the impact of the No.5 label for room ACs and to inform potential improvements which can help accelerate Thailand’s transition to high-efficiency cooling technology.

Background

Thailand is the second world’s largest AC manufacturer, accounting for approximately 9% of global room air conditioner production and 22% of world AC exports. Thailand’s high reliance on energy imports make energy efficiency one of the top national priorities to ensure energy security. Thailand’s energy efficiency policies for ACs have been very successful – most models on the market are labeled with the voluntary EGAT No. 5 label, and consumers cite energy efficiency as a critical factor when making purchasing decisions.

The No.5 Label is a comparative label with ratings from 1 to 5, with No. 5 being the most efficient and No.1 being the least efficient (Figure 1). Since the program is voluntary, manufacturers only opt to obtain the No. 5 label if their products achieve the top level (No.5). As a result, all products are categorized in the top level and consumers cannot differentiate between products or understand which products are more efficient. To address this problem, in January 2019 EGAT introduced three new stars to categorize products that are more efficient than level 5 (Figure 2).

Figure 1 No. 5 label used until January 2019; inverter model to the left and fixed speed model to the right.


Figure 2 EGAT No. 5 label with three stars introduced in 2019

EGAT and CLASP have several questions about the impact of the label and whether it is helping to transition the market to more efficient products:

  • The impact of the No.5 Label on purchasing decisions is unknown, especially now that all labelled products are in the top level. Nor is it clear whether the three new stars are understood or effective.
  • Under EGAT’s labelling program, inverter ACs and fixed speed ACs have different energy efficiency requirements and separate energy labels (as shown in Figure 1). Inverter ACs must meet stricter energy efficiency requirements than fixed speed ACs and are therefore generally more efficient – however both product types are labelled as meeting the same No.5 level. When comparing between product types, consumers might not understand that an inverter AC is more efficient than a fixed speed AC.

CLASP seeks a contractor to lead a nation-wide consumer survey to investigate consumer understanding, perceptions, and impact of the No.5 Label for inverter and fixed-speed ACs of ≤8,000W and ≥8,000W ≤12,000W capacity. In particular, the survey will address the following areas:

  • Understanding and perception of the new 2019 label scheme, and whether the additional three stars impact on consumers purchasing decisions.
  • Understanding on difference in efficiency between inverters and fixed speed ACs.
  • Willingness to pay for higher-efficiency products and their awareness of energy efficiency benefits. What is the main driver for purchasing decisions – price or other product characteristics and features?
  • Receptivity to introducing estimated cost savings on the energy label, and whether this would incentivize consumers purchase higher energy efficiency ACs despite higher purchase prices.
  • Receptivity to and impact of including refrigerant information on the label.
  • Receptivity to and impact of including CO2 emission reduction on the label.
  • Impact of including a QR code linking to official information on the energy efficiency of each model to support purchasing decisions.

The contractor will collect qualitiative, informative data that is representative of Thai consumers. The survey sampling will be based on the variables identified in Table 1.

Table 1 Variables to consider and rationale for the purposive sampling

Variable

Rationale

Geographical diversity

Different climate; different AC models; different income levels.

Gender-representativeness

Understand how gender and role in the household would influence purchasing decisions, provided equal access to information

Age groups

Different age groups can access different levels of information or have different priorities

Education level

Education can influence consumers’ awareness

Income-level representation

Income influences purchases of efficient models

The survey results will be used by CLASP to assess the impact of the 2019 revision to the label scheme; to evaluate the possibility of redistributing of the labeling classes; and ultimately inform recommendations to EGAT’s No.5 Label.

CLASP is seeking a contractor based in Thailand, with knowledge of the Thai culture and language to lead the consumer survey.

Scope of Work

The contractor will be responsible for conducting the consumer survey to understand consumer understanding and perceptions of the EGAT No. 5 label released in 2019 for ACs in Thailand.

Task 1: Survey Planning and Kick-off meeting with CLASP and EGAT

The contractor will develop a plan and methodology for the survey, based on recent market data and insights, to ensure survey responses are representative of Thai consumers (as per the variables listed in Table 1). The contractor will present the proposed survey plan, methodology, and the market data at the kick-off meeting within two weeks of contract inception.

The methodology should define whether the survey should be in the form of interviews, focus groups, telephone surveys, or online surveys or a combination of various approaches; the platform; and the rationale of the choice. The survey methodology should ensure that space is created for meaningful participation for each respondent. The final approach will be agreed with CLASP and EGAT.

The contractor will:

  1. Prepare a presentation outlining the proposed survey plan, methodology, and relevant market data.
  1. Participate in kick-off meeting video conference with CLASP and EGAT to:
  • Present and agree on the proposed survey plan, methodology, and relevant market data
  • Present and agree a detailed proposed timeline of survey execution and analysis

Delivery Requirements and Outputs of this task:

  1. Presentation on survey execution and analysis plan, including methodology, relevant market data. and timelines
  1. Raw market data

Task 2: Leading the survey

CLASP will work with EGAT to develop the survey questions in English. The contractor will translate the questions into Thai and ensure they are appropriate for the target audience and survey methodology. The Contractor will conduct the survey as agreed in Task 1.

The contractor will:

  1. Conduct the survey based on agreed methodology
  1. Collect survey responses and share with CLASP
  1. Share weekly updates with CLASP on progress with data collection and challenges (if any)

Delivery Requirements and Outputs of this task:

  1. Survey responses
  1. Other raw data

Task 3: Analysis of survey results

After completion of the survey, the contractor will analyse the responses and results. The contractor will prepare a report, including quantitative and qualitative analysis with graphics and charts to portray results. CLASP will publish the report and use it to inform recommendations to EGAT on the future of the No.5 Label.

Delivery Requirements and Outputs of this task:

  1. Draft report on analysis of survey results in English
  1. Final report on analysis of survey results in English and in Thai, submitted as a word document (max. 50 pages). The report should include:
  • Detailed background information on the research method; research tool(s); how the sample was selected; and how data were collected;
  • Description and justification of the methods used for analysis;
  • Findings presented in a clear and concise way;
  • Only information collected through the survey, with every piece of information supported by survey data.
  1. In-person meeting to present survey results to CLASP and EGAT

General Project Requirements

  • Provide regular project update emails and/or participate in check-in calls with CLASP through the duration of this contract
  • Provide data, guidance, and relevant resources via email
  • Provide timely and detailed responses to questions and comments from CLASP team.

Key Milestones and Deliverables

  • Survey methodology, supported by market data, and work plan agreed at kick-off meeting
  • Survey delivery
  • Report and presentation on survey results at final meeting

Timeline

Detailed scope of work defined, and survey kicked off by March 2020. Survey completion and analysis by June 2020.

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Evaluation Procedure

A committee appointed by CLASP will evaluate proposals received from respondents. Selection of qualified companies or organizations will be based upon the following criteria:

  • Technical Evaluation Factors
  • Cost Evaluation Factors

All bids will be evaluated and ranked using Quality and Cost Based Selection (QCBS), with 80 percent of the score accorded to the technical proposal, and 20 percent to the financial proposal. The detailed evaluation criteria can be found in Annex A.

SUBMITTAL

Interested parties must:

  1. Be based in Thailand and demonstrate experience leading similar activities
  1. Register as a CLASP Implementing Partner (click here to register).
  1. Complete the Pre-Qualification Questionnaire using the online form. Note: Organizations that have already completed the PQQ do not need to complete it again

Interested parties should submit separate technical and financial proposals as electronic files (preferably in PDF format). The file should be named as per the following example:

  • [CONTRACTOR_NAME]_TechnicalProposal_RFP2-20
  • [CONTRACTOR_NAME]_FinancialProposal_RFP2-20

The deadline for application is February 28th, 2020. Proposals must be submitted via the form link above. Proposals must be submitted online via the CLASP website, filling out all the requested information and attaching both a technical and financial proposal.

The proposal length should not exceed 20 pages total.

The technical proposal should include:

  • Detailed work plan and methodology, considering the outcomes required, and specifying the related rationale.
  • Background and experience conducting similar activities.
  • Identification of the team that will execute the project, including an organizational chart and accompanying brief description of key team members and their qualifications and relevant work experience.
  • Detailed timeline for all project activities, tasks, milestones, and deliverables for the project within the timeframe indicated above.

CVs and related summaries of experience and qualifications of proposed project team staff should be included in an Annex2.

The financial proposal (in USD) should include:

  • Detailed budget that includes all direct and indirect cost estimates for executing the project, including a breakdown (in days) of the level of effort and costs associated with each team member that will be engaged in the project.

All questions may be addressed to sdemartini@clasp.ngo. The last date for submission of questions related to this RFP is February 27th, 2020. We request all inquiries be made by e-mail and not by phone.

ANNEX A: EVALUATION CRITERIA

1.  Technical Approach (35 points): The technical approach described in the proposals will be evaluated on:

  • The demonstrated understanding of the overall project context (15).
  • The detailed work plan and approach clearly defining the target objectives and the strategy to achieve the objectives as outlined in the scope of work (20).

2.  Management Structure and Staff Qualification (25 points): The proposed management structure and staff will be evaluated on:

  • The professional qualifications and the extent to which the requisite expertise and experience of the key personnel will directly contribute to the completion of the tasks (25).

3.  Past Performance and Corporate Experience (20 points): The experience and capacities of the contractor will be evaluated based on:

  • The past performance, familiarity, and experience in understanding policies and program related to standards and labelling (10).
  • Extent of local expertise including experience, qualifications, and track record in implementation of similar programs (10).

4.  Cost Evaluation Factors (20 points): While the overall Technical Evaluation is the key factor in reviewing the proposal, the cost evaluation will be an essential factor in determining the final contract award and ability to remain in the competitive range and will be evaluated for feasibility, completeness, and practicality.

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