As a core part of Korea's efficiency management system, the energy standards and labeling program mandates manufacturers (and importers) to produce and sell energy saving products from the very beginning of the production (import) phase. To enable consumers to find energy saving products relatively easily, the energy standards and labeling program mandates manufactures (and importers) ① to attach an energy rating label in a range from the 1st to 5th grade, ② to report the energy efficiency, and ③ to apply MEPS to their product.
① Manufacturers or importers indicate an energy rating from the 1st to 5th grade according to the energy efficiency or energy usage of their product (It is mandatory to attach the label rating for energy efficiency.)
② Manufacturers or importers report the energy efficiency.
③ Under MEPS, products failing to meet the requirement of the 5th rating will be terminated from production and/or sales.
MEPS are mandatory energy efficiency standards that promote national energy saving from the very beginning by limiting the production and/or sales of low-efficiency products that fail to meet certain required levels of efficiency or power consumption. A fine of up to 20 million KRW may be imposed for violations.
Power consumption for power generation and standby power is proportional to carbon dioxide emissions, and as greenhouse gases and carbon dioxide emissions increase, global warming and climate change threaten human survival. As a result, countries around the world are stepping up their regulatory obligations on carbon emissions and are stepping up efficiency certification systems for energy-using products to implement climate treaties. The purpose of the regulations is to keep greenhouse gas emissions in each country below a certain level, and failure to do so may result in penalties such as trade restrictions. For example, the European ErP Directive 2005/32/EG regulates the energy efficiency of most products that consume electricity.
The United States has an efficient, voluntary certification system, the ENERGY STAR program, as well as CEC(California Energy Commissions) certification system under state law. Most efficient tests and efficiency standards focus on the energy efficiency performance of power consuming products, which manufacturers must meet in order to be accepted in each country's market.