Turn your home into an ‘eco haven’

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - BUSINESS - By FAN FEIFEI fan­feifei@chi­nadaily.com.cn

En­ergy-ef­fi­cient home ap­pli­ances have be­come an in­dus­try trend as con­sumers pur­sue greener life­styles.

In­no­va­tion has trig­gered re­search and devel­op­ment into more en­vi­ron­men­tal­lyfriendly air conditioners, re­frig­er­a­tors, wash­ing ma­chines and wa­ter heaters, as well as a host of other house­hold prod­ucts.

“Home ap­pli­ance man­u­fac­tur­ers have had to ad­just to this new phi­los­o­phy,” said Liang Zhen­peng, an in­de­pen­dent con­sumer elec­tron­ics an­a­lyst. “This means an in­crease in R&D investment of en­ergy-sav­ing, low-car­bon emis­sion prod­ucts.

“Only by do­ing this can they suc­ceed against fierce com­pe­ti­tion,” he added.

China’s lead­ing man­u­fac­tur­ers such as Haier Group Corp have quickly picked up on this con­sumer craze.

The multi­na­tional elec­tron­ics and home ap­pli­ance gi­ant has launched var­i­ous en­ergy-sav­ing air conditioners.

Many are equipped with smart sen­sors, which de­tect body move­ments and tem­per­a­ture, and then ad­just the set­tings au­to­mat­i­cally.

Haier’s R290 “in­tel­li­gent air con­di­tioner” uses low-car­bon R290 re­frig­er­ant fluid, which cuts down on dan­ger­ous gases that can de­stroy the ozone layer.

Al­ready the com­pany’s Ma­glev air-con­di­tion­ing sys­tem is used in govern­ment pub­lic build­ings, com­mer­cial real es­tate de­vel­op­ments, ho­tels and hos­pi­tals.

These units can sub­stan­tially re­duce car­bon diox­ide emis­sions and en­ergy costs, data re­leased by Haier showed.

“The tech­nolo­gies used in these air con­di­tion­ing units have the po­ten­tial to sig­nif­i­cantly re­duce en­ergy con­sump­tion and im­prove air qual­ity,” said Liang Hais­han, chief ex­ec­u­tive of Haier.

“We are look­ing for­ward to ad­vanc­ing our eco-in­no­va­tion ef­forts to an even greater level,” Liang added.

Data from Euromon­i­tor, the global mar­ket re­search com­pany based in Lon­don, showed Haier is the num­ber one brand for air conditioners in the world with a mar­ket share of 23.6 per­cent in terms of sales last year.

Apart from air conditioners, Haier has also rolled out en­ergy-sav­ing re­frig­er­a­tors, wash­ing ma­chines and wa­ter heaters.

The group’s lat­est re­frig­er­a­tors need 40 per­cent less elec­tric­ity, while one of its wa­ter heater de­signs won an en­ergy-sav­ing award from the Min­istry of In­dus­try and In­for­ma­tion Tech­nol­ogy.

In April, Haier and e-com­merce be­he­moth Alibaba Group Hold­ing Ltd linked up to launch a new project to look into a “home ap­pli­ance green ecosys­tem”.

By virtue of Haier’s so­cial net­work­ing plat­form, the com­pany will col­lect data from cus­tomers about freez­ing and stor­ing frozen foods.

It will then de­sign high­tech re­frig­er­a­tors, which will uti­lize en­vi­ron­men­tal­lyfriendly ma­te­ri­als and flu­o­rine-free re­frig­er­ant fluid.

Fian­cial fig­ures in the first quar­ter showed that Haier’s op­er­at­ing in­come was 37.7 bil­lion yuan ($5.54 bil­lion), an in­crease of 69.7 per­cent com­pared to the same pe­riod in 2016. Net profit in­creased to 1.46 bil­lion yuan dur­ing the same time frame.

The Na­tional Bureau of Statis­tics re­leased data that showed do­mes­tic home ap­pli­ance man­u­fac­tur­ers re­ported prof­its of 119.69 bil­lion yuan last year, a 20.4 per­cent in­crease com­pared to 2015.

Guang­dong Midea Group, for ex­am­ple, has been work­ing with up­stream sup­pli­ers, such as lead­ing steel ma­te­rial man­u­fac­tur­ers, HBIS Group Cheng­steel Co, to pro­mote an ar­ray of “greener” prod­ucts.

“We have sold 12 mil­lion sets of ECO se­ries air conditioners, which will save more than 1.2 bil­lion kwH (kil­lowatt-hour) power con­sump­tion each year,” said Wu Wenxin, pres­i­dent at Midea’s air con­di­tion­ing pro­duc­tion de­part­ment.

“This will help re­duce the equiv­a­lent of 500,000 met­ric tons of coal, and could re­duce car­bon emis­sions by 1.21 mil­lion tons,” he added.

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