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Appliances - Key Information on China

Explore the latest country-specific information for the most relevant appliance groups in China and learn on the country-specific saving potential. Find also more detailed information on:

  • Appliances subtypes and markets

  • Efficiency range and user savings

  • Performance and information requirements

  • Test procedures, standards and their application 

Get the comprehensive facts and figures as well as the full-text versions of the appliance-specific country reports by making your selection in the listbox on the right side!

For general information on specific appliance groups and to see technical design options for optimising energy efficiency of appliances, please also visit the worldwide bigEE Appliance Guide more...

PanelTV

Key message

The Top10 market research on Chinese TV market revealed in January 2014 that TVs with screen sizes between 30 and 60 inches account for 89% market share while other TV sizes comprise the remaining 11%. With rising living standards and changes in consumption patterns, there is evidence showing that Chinese families prefer increasingly larger TVs, which often offsets the improvements in energy efficiency.

According to People’s Daily Online, the sales number of TVs in China was reported to be around 43 million units in 2012, showing an increase of 1.8% compared to 2011. The ‘per hundred households’ penetration rate of panel-TVs in rural areas was about 115.5 units in 2011 and then increased to 116.9 units in 2012, while in urban areas the TV ‘per hundred households’ penetration rate was about 117.1 in 2011 and then increased to 118.3 in 2012. Since 2012, the demand from rural areas is bigger than the demand from urban areas, with a rate of about 51:49. It is estimated that rural areas will become even more important markets for TV sales in the next few years.

GB 24580 defines three energy efficiency levels for panel TVs based on EEI and passive standby mode power consumption, whereby standby consumption should be below 0.5 W. Grade 1 is the most energy efficient and grade 3 is the minimum energy efficiency requirement for market access (MEPS).

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Refrigerators

Key message

Refrigerators are one of the most common household appliances in China today. China produced the first domestic refrigerator in the 1950s. Today, 96.7 million refrigerators are produced in China annually (output of 2011). China is the largest producer and user of refrigerators in the world. The domestic sale of refrigerators in 2011 was about 69.6 million. The China National Institute of Standardization (CNIS) estimates there to be around 400 million refrigerators in use in China in 2011.

The Chinese government released the first refrigerator energy efficiency standard (EES) in 1989, GB12021.2 The maximum allowable values of the energy consumption and energy efficiency grade for household refrigerators.

In 2004, China’s National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) and the Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine of China (AQSIQ) released the “Measures management of the energy label”, which initiated the introduction of a mandatory energy-labelling programme in China.

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Rice cooker

Key message

Originally, rice cookers were all mechanically controlled. Due to the general progress of controlling technology, also electronically operated rice cookers have been widely deployed. Except some low end products, electronic programmable rice cookers have taken the majority of the market. Traditional rice cookers were all based on electrical resistance heating devices, but new induction heated rice cookers have already been introduced to the market in recent years and take about 2% market share.

The volume of the cooking pot is the main indicator of its cooking capacity. It has the range from smaller than 1L to bigger than 10L. Rice cookers with 3L-4L pot volume are the most popular types for typical Chinese families with 3 members. Rice cookers with pot volumes of more than 10L are commonly used for commercial applications, e.g. in canteens and restaurants. As the following figure shows, rice cookers with volumes smaller than 5L take the major market share of 74%.

The first energy efficiency standard for rice cookers was implemented in 1989, while the latest version was released in 2008 and implemented in June 2009. GB 12021.6-2008 sets five energy efficiency tiers based on the thermal efficiency.

China energy label included rice cookers in 2009. The energy label of rice cookers includes information on energy efficiency tier, thermal efficiency, stand-by power, warm-keeping energy consumption and the inner pot material.

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Washing machines

Key message

China produced approximately 35.7 million washing machines in 2011, a figure which was 42.5% below that of 2010. The domestic sale of washing machines was 35.8 million in 2011, which was 6.7% lower than in 2010. Even though both production and sales declined, China is still the biggest producer of washing machines in the world. It is estimated that the demand for washing machines in large cities like Beijing and Shanghai will progressively decline but the demand in smaller cities will still be increasing significantly.

In 2011, the household penetration of washing machines in urban areas was approximately 97.1%, which increased to 98.0% in 2012. In rural areas, the household penetration of washing machines increased to 67.2% in 2012, up from 62.6% in 2011.

GB12021.4-2013 defines five energy efficiency tiers for washing machines. Energy consumption per kilogram, water consumption per kilogram and rate of washing effectiveness are the three parameters to identify the energy efficiency tiers of the washing machine. Tier 5 corresponds to the minimum performance standard (MEPS) and tier 1 is the most efficient.

China introduced a mandatory labelling programme for washing machine in 2007, which was based on GB12021-2004 and was valid until October 2013. The washing machine labelling programme is currently based on GB12021-2013.

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Copier

Key message

Copiers are classed as color or monochrome copiers. Most copiers on Chinese market are monochrome copiers. Most copiers are designed for paper sizes smaller than A3. A4 is the most common size. Copiers with the copy speed between 20-40 pages per minute (PPM) are the most popular ones on the market. The following two figures show the copy speed distribution of color copiers and monochrome copiers.

GB21251-2008 defines 3 energy efficiency tiers based on TEC and off-mode power. Tier 1 is the most efficient and tier 3 is the minimum energy performance standard (MEPS). However, from November 2011, tier 2 replaces tier 3 as the MEPS. The following table shows the energy efficiency requirement of EES.

According to the market research of Top10, almost all copiers on Chinese market from 2010 belong to tier1, meaning that the energy efficiency classification scheme lost their function to guide consumers in purchasing. China started the mandatory labelling scheme for copiers in March 2009.

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Fans

Key message

Fans can be classified as table fans, wall mounted fans, standing fans and ceiling fans based on the position that they are fixed. The portability of fans decides their application and usage. Most Chinese households use portable table and standing (pedestal) fans, while fixed wall mounted fans and ceiling fans are widely used in restaurants or commercial establishments. Top10 collected the data of more than 100 fan models on Chinese market. About 69% of all fans are standing models and table fans have about 26% market share. Wall mounted and ceiling fans have 3% and 2% market share, respectively.

The first energy efficiency standard (EES) of fans was released in 1989. The latest revision was published in 2008, called GB 12021.9-2008 - Minimum allowable values of energy efficiency and energy efficiency grades for AC electric fans. GB 12021.9-2008 sets three energy efficiency tiers based on the energy efficiency value.

The mandatory energy efficiency labelling of fans started in 2008 and is based on GB 12021.9-2008. Fans that exist on the market must have the energy label, displaying information related to the energy efficiency value and rated power.

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Lighting

Key message

There are three major lighting technologies on Chinese market, incandescent, fluorescent and LED (Light Emitting Diode) technology. Incandescent lamps are classified as traditional non-efficient technology, but they are widely deployed. China has implemented a phase-out roadmap for incandescent lamps, which will be adopted by 2016. Fluorescent lamps are more energy efficient than incandescent lamps and recognized as substitutes for incandescent bulbs. Although LED is more efficient compared to both Fluorescent and Incandescent, it is relatively new technology. For this reason, the energy efficiency standards and energy labels do not yet cover this product. Due to the current data availability, this report focuses on compact fluorescent lamps (CFL). Moreover, they are regulated by energy efficiency standards and labels.

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AirConditioners

Key message

There are two main air conditioner technologies in the Chinese market: fixed-speed (FS) air conditioners and variable-speed (VS) air conditioners. Normally, the energy efficiency of VS air-conditioners is better than FS air conditioners because VS air-conditioners can adjust the compressor frequency for varying environmental conditions.

According to the investigation of electronic equipment and household appliances using pattern in China conducted by Collaborative Labelling and Appliance Standard Program (CLASP) in 2014, the average daily usage time of air conditioner (reversible type) is 5.5 hours for cooling and 2.8 hours for heating. Most investigated families set 25.5 °C as the cooling setpoint temperature and 26.4 °C as the heating setpoint temperature, which is in accordance with the government’s suggested temperatures for energy saving.

There are Minimum Energy Performance Standards (MEPS) and a mandatory definition of energy efficiency tiers both for the more energy-efficient variable speed (VS) and for the cheaper but less efficient fixed speed (FS) air conditioners in China. The FS air conditioner requirements were the first to come into force. There is a mandatory energy label for both VS and FS air conditioners in China. Historically, the label for FS air conditioners was implemented first.

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Monitors

Key message

It is estimated that about 120 million monitors were produced in China in 2011, decreasing about 51% compared with 2010. The domestic sale of monitor in 2011 is about 36 million, which reduced about 9.6% compared with 2010. The market population of monitors accounted for 147 million in 2011, which increased about 10% compared with 2010.

GB 21250-2008 defines three tiers to describe the energy efficiency performance of monitors. Grade 1 is the most energy efficient, while Grade 3 requires only minimum energy performance (MEP). The MEPR threshold has changed to grade 2 requirements since November 2011. This standard sets energy efficiency grade 3 as the threshold of MEPS from 2008-2011. The threshold has been boosted to grade 2 from November 2011. China has started the mandatory labelling scheme for monitor in 2009, which is also based on GB 21250-2008. Monitors on the market must bear energy efficiency labels.

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