Mandatory S&L programs are a key feature of South Korea's energy conservation program. In 1992, Korea launched the Energy Efficiency Standards and Labeling Program. The program, which covers over 20 products including transformers, TVs, refrigerators, and air conditioners, has dramatically improved the energy efficiency of common appliances.
Both comparative and endorsement energy efficiency labels are used in Korea. High energy consuming products are rated from grade five to grade one, with grade one products saving 30 to 40 percent more energy than grade five products. Korea's High-efficiency Appliance Certification Program endorses and promotes products that perform better than established efficiency standards. This program contains approximately 40 target products including motors, boilers, and lighting.
Korea's E-Standby Program is the first mandatory Standby Power Warning Label program in the world. The E-Standby Program mandates the reporting of standby power of target products and labeling of products that fail to meet the standby standard.
The Ministry of Knowledge Economy (MKE) and Korea Energy Management Corporation (KEMCO) operate all three energy efficiency programs. The Korean Agency for Technology and Standards is a specialized institute to lead industrial standards and technical evaluation in Korea.
Legislative S&L History
The Rational Energy Utilization Act was promulgated in 1980 to serve as a basic law for energy efficiency and conservation. The Act authorized the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Energy (MOCIE), now the Ministry of Knowledge Economy (MKE), to set minimum energy performance standards based on analysis carried out by agencies such as the Korea Testing Laboratory (KTL), the Korea Institute of Energy Research (KIER), and others. MKE establishes effective dates, specifies the energy test procedures, and sets the rules for energy labeling.
Within the Rational Energy Utilization Act, mandatory performance standards and labels are based on articles 15 and 16; the High-efficiency Appliance Certification Program is based on articles 22 and 23; and the mandatory e-Standby Program is based on articles 18, 19, 20, and 21.
S&L Regulatory Process
The Korean Energy Management Corporation (KEMCO), as authorized by the Ministry of Knowledge Economy (MKE), develops and administers Korea's efficiency standards and energy labeling program.
Korea's efficiency standards regulatory process involves three main stages:
- Efficiency Standard Proposal Development
- KEMCO commissions the government-endorsed testing bodies, including the Korea Testing Laboratory, to collect data from manufacturers to support the development of specific efficiency standards. KEMCO uses this data, along with sales information, to develop sales-weighted efficiency projections. Based on this analysis, KEMCO develops efficiency standard proposals for individual products.
- Efficiency Standard Proposal Review
- KEMCO submits efficiency standard proposals to committees formed for the review process. Efficiency standards are reviewed in consultation with manufacturers and academic experts.
- Efficiency Standard Approval
- KEMCO makes recommendations of efficiency standards to MKE. The MKE approves and authorizes the efficiency standard based on the deliberations of a governmental rule administration committee.