Appliances Research China


Improving energy efficiency of appliances benefits U.S., China and the world and decreases pollution worldwide


Household appliances

China is the world’s largest producer and exporter of key energy-consuming equipment, producing over 70% of room air conditioners and exporting the largest volume of refrigeration and laundry equipment in the world.Since 1996, the China Energy Group has worked closely with multiple institutions in China to develop and strengthen China's mandatory efficiency standards, mandatory energy information label and voluntary energy efficiency endorsement label,for appliances and equipment, work that will be of mutual benefit to the U.S., China, and the world.

Our early work focused on technical assistance in the development of standards and the voluntary labeling criteria, and we provided training on international techno-economic analytical tools and best practices. Within the last two decades, as China's domestic market for appliances and equipment has grown rapidly with urbanization and economic development, its efficiency standards and labeling programs have expanded to include a mandatory energy information label and to cover many more products.

China now has over mandatory energy efficiency standards for over 65 products and mandatory energy information labels for over 37 products. As China's own technical competence has grown, Berkeley Lab's assistance has deepened to areas such as enforcement testing, laboratory round-robin testing, policy impact assessments and strengthening the framework for developing standards and labeling. Our researchers have shown that total annual energy savings of China’s standards and labeling program are projected to reach 830 TWh in 2030, the equivalent of the output of nearly 8 Three Gorges Dams or 173 large Chinese coal-fired power plants.

Kigali Amendment and Cooling Efficiency

Reducing climate and air pollutants worldwide

HFCs are the fastest-growing greenhouse gases, increasing up to 15 percent annually, and are thousands of times more powerful than carbon dioxide (CO2) at warming the planet. Since HFCs are short-lived in the atmosphere, curbing their use can offer immediate impacts. It is estimated that a global phasedown of HFCs can provide up to 0.5℃ reduction in global average temperatures by 2050.

Berkeley Lab contributed critical insights that helped advance the October 2016 global pact to phase out hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) in air conditioning and refrigeration equipment, benefiting countries worldwide as a result of reduced air pollution. Our research and technical support to policymakers during meetings ahead of the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol enabled them to arrive at that landmark agreement and also identified the potential of energy efficiency improvement in parallel with the HFC phasedown under the Kigali Amendment.

Sponsored by the Kigali Cooling Efficiency Program since 2017, Berkeley Lab provided technical, engineering, and market analyses supporting revision of energy efficiency standards and related market transformation programs for key cooling products, including room air conditioners, multi-split air conditioners, and commercial refrigeration in China.