fridge.jpgChina is starting to take energy efficiency more seriously, at least at the level of products such as consumer electronics and refrigerators.

More than 10,000 products manufactured by over 300 Chinese companies have been certified as energy-efficient products, according to the China Standard Certification Centre (CSC), a government body.

The certification programme started with domestic refrigerators in 1998, and only 20 products were certified in the first year. However, since 2004, the rate of certifications has accelerated and is now growing at around about 50% a year.

Today, however only 20% to 30% of of consumer products on the market deserve the label “energy efficient”, a CSC official told Xinhua, so there is still plenty of room for improvement.

The CSC has also sought to get its approval scheme recognised in foreign countries, and it claims the US and Australia now accept it.

The government requires products with energy conservation certificates be clearly labeled for consumers. A CSC survey showed more than 20% of consumers in China's major cities recognised such labels.

Energy efficiency was the third most important factor for consumers in purchasing after quality and brand name, though such products tended to be more expensive than ordinary products, said the survey.

The government has also recently introduced a policy to make it compulsory for government bodies to procure some energy-saving products.

Meanwhile, manufacturers of energy-efficient products will soon be able to benefit from preferential tax treatment, although the details are still to come.

Elsewhere on the efficiency front:

  • General Motors China and its local suppliers have been running a two-year project to improve resource usage and save costs. Results reported to date by supplier companies document reductions in greenhouse gases, water use and net cost savings from improved environmental management processes and performance. Now that the project's coming to an end, lets see if the best practices can be rolled out throughout GM's supplier base in China.

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