China: Make My Appliance Energy Efficient, Please

Summer's on its way, along with lazy days, melting ice cream, and that perennial favorite - air conditioning. In China, air conditioner sales are expected to hit 25 million units this year, "bringing tremendous pressure to bear on the nation's already tight electricity supply." Convincing people who hunger after cars and a first-world lifestyle to cool themselves off with ice is unlikely to go down smoothly. But there is hope for energy-efficiency. "[P]romoting energy-efficient home appliances ha[s] become an urgent task," according to the China Energy Label Center. That's where China's 2007 National Promotion Campaign for Energy-Efficient Home Appliances, launched last week, comes in. The campaign brings home appliance retailers and producers on board to educate consumers about China's already established energy-efficiency label system. Retailers hope to sell more energy-efficient appliances (they do cost more than the standard ones, after all), and the measures they're taking include giving discounts to treehugging customers and financially rewarding clerks who successfully sell the energy-efficient merchandise. With all these campaigns to educate consumers getting off the ground - see here and here for examples - this treehugger can't help but feel a little post-Earth Day optimism. ::China Daily

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