(MENAFN - Arab News) The Kingdom plans to ban the import and local production of refrigerators and dishwashing machines that fail to meet the country's stringent new energy-efficiency regulations
Naif Al-Abbadi, director general of the Saudi Energy Efficiency Center (SEEC) at King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology (KACST), said a timeframe would be announced soon
"The process will start by banning all imports and local manufacturing of low efficiency appliances and then move on to monitoring sales operations, similar to the process applied for air conditioners," said Al-Abbadi
He said more than 90 percent of air conditioner manufacturers have complied with the new specifications and stopped making and marketing appliances that use too much energy. Several suppliers and importers have also complied with the decision, he said
Al-Abbadi said the center is currently considering replacing all bad air conditioners with highly efficient ones after the center completes a study on the issue. "There are several international tests that prove the feasibility of the energy saving process."
He said the process would save the country a great deal of money
He said the government has introduced a star system for energy-efficient appliances to create awareness among consumers. The system would change every year, he said
He said all air conditioner dealers had until the end of last month to comply. "They had a grace period to do so, after which their warehouses were searched. No one will be able to sell the commodities in the Saudi market."
Al-Abbadi said government announced the new specifications for air conditioners in the media in 2012 with a deadline set for last September. However, when some merchants said the period was too short, government extended it for a further four months until the end of December
He said many merchants lost money after complying with the regulations
Arab News reported earlier that the Ministry of Commerce and Industry recently seized 40,000 air conditioners for failing to meet energy saving requirements
The ministry is conducting a crackdown campaign in coordination with the SEEC, the Saudi Standards, Metrology and Quality Organization, the Customs Department and various government agencies