Minimum Energy Performance Standards (MEPS)

Last updated: 16 April 2021

In context, the appliance efficiency standards was introduced in 1988 following the Standardization Law of China. The law details rules for management, formulation, and implementation designating the State Council administrative department to oversee the process. The first batch of minimum efficiency performance standards (MEPS) occurred in 1989 to include 8 categories of appliances.


MEPS were created in 1989, and since then there have been a variety of improvements and additions to the regulations as technology improves. Now the policy covers a wide range of selected industrial, commercial and residential appliances.


The policy divides regulations into several categories with a frequently-updated list of products within each category:


household appliances (washing machines, refrigerators, and room air conditioning units, gas water heaters, etc.)

lighting products (various fluorescent lamps, high pressure sodium lamps, ballasts for metal halide lamps, etc.)

commercial equipment (water coolers, power supply adapters, air conditioning units, etc.)

industrial equipment (motors, compressors, pumps, transformers, etc.)

vehicles (includes passenger vehicles)

office equipment (monitors, copiers, etc.)


The government currently aims to eliminate the bottom 20% of efficiency in the market. The internal tools to assess efficiency standards in China lack robust survey data and reliant primarily on market research data.


In principal the standards for assessing efficiency in China include:

  • High energy consumption and high energy savings potential
  • Widely used with mature industry and well-regulated market
  • Mature testing procedure and good testing infrastructure and ability nationwide
  • Stakeholder support
  • China's Standard Setting Process


Initial Legal Framework: National Standardization Law of 1989, National Energy Conservation Law of 1998


Regulatory Agency: State Administration of Quality, Supervision, Inspection, and Quarantine (AQSIQ), China National Institute of Standardization (CNIS)


Standard Setting Principle: Eliminate bottom 20% of market during each revision; use "reach" standards: two period, two-tiered standards.


Standard Setting Timeline: usually within a period of five years, with the specific time of revision dependent on pace of technical and efficiency improvements. MEPS and mandatory China Energy Labels are also introduced for new products every year, but there is no pre-determined schedule for new or revised standards.


National versus Local Regulatory Precedence: National regulation has full mandate over MEPS and mandatory labelling.