Certifying energy efficiency

Certifying energy efficiency

By Claire Marchand

In commercial and office buildings, energy is consumed by appliances and equipment, from computers and copiers to water coolers and lighting. Heating and cooling equipment – often out of sight – is another major source of energy consumption.

Commercial buildings such as shopping malls... Commercial buildings such as shopping malls...

Huge progress has been made in recent years to develop and manufacture appliances and equipment that consume much less energy than they used to when energy saving wasn’t a pressing issue. Today’s appliances often consume less than half of the electricity they would have used in the past, despite the new products’ added features.

Improving energy efficiency in commercial and office buildings saves money, reduces emissions and can also improve productivity. Many countries have developed, or are developing, strategies for energy savings and emissions reduction from appliances and are passing legislation to that effect.

Energy efficiency through IEC standards…

Standards can serve as basis for regulations and legislation in the energy efficiency field. The IEC has a whole catalogue of International Standards that deal not only with safety requirements for appliances and equipment, but also provide metrics and testing specifications to achieve optimal energy consumption.

Manufacturers of appliances and equipment for commercial and office buildings can rely on IEC International Standards to develop state-of-the-art products that meet the strictest safety and energy-efficiency requirements. Going a step further, they can rely on the IECEE, the IEC System of Conformity Assessment Schemes for Electrotechnical Equipment and Components, to have their products tested and certified.

…and certification

IECEE has been testing and certifying appliances and equipment for many years, focusing on product safety and, when required by the standards – dealing with ballasts for example – also providing services covering performance aspects. And now, responding to industry’s demand, it is about to launch a new service for energy efficiency.

New IECEE service

IECEE Working Group 2: Business development, has prepared recommendations for approval at the next CMC (Certification Management Committee) meeting to be held in Istanbul, Turkey, on 29-30 June 2011. One of those recommendations deals with the launch of CA (Conformity Assessment) services for energy efficiency/performance of end products such as washing machines, dishwashers, refrigerators, office equipment and so forth.

This service will provide a Test Report issued by a IECEE CBTL (Certification Body Testing Laboratory) and validated by a STR (Statement of Test Result) issued by an IECEE NCB (National Certification Body). The service can be used as a stand-alone service or as a combined safety and energy efficiency/performance service, upon request from the manufacturer, where both Test Reports are attached to the CB Test Certificate or the FCS (Full Certification Scheme) Certificate issued by the IECEE NCB.

IECEE facilitates access to market

CB Scheme

A CB Test Certificate is a global passport for products to be accepted in all IECEE member countries. It is so well known that global acceptance is a reality, even in countries that are not part of the IECEE community. “One test, one international certificate” opens the doors of the global market.

The IECEE CB Scheme provides the assurance that tested and certified products meet the strictest safety, reliability and performance in compliance with the relevant IEC International Standards. It helps reduce costs and time to market, eliminates duplicate or multiple testing and offers a high level of confidence for manufacturers, retailers and consumers alike.


The CB-FCS Scheme for Mutual Recognition of Conformity Assessment Certificates for Electrotechnical Equipment and Components is an extension of the IECEE CB Scheme in that it also includes the initial factory inspection and regular factory surveillance. This goes far beyond product testing and includes a complete follow-up through the surveillance at the factory or factories where the certified product is manufactured. This is interesting for manufacturers who need to provide proof that products manufactured in a given factory offer a consistent level of quality over time.

Commercial buildings such as shopping malls... Commercial buildings such as shopping malls...
...office buildings ...office buildings
...and office equipment are major sources of energy consumption ...and office equipment are major sources of energy consumption