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Heating Efficiency Baseline Study by AWER: Are consumers making the right choice?

AWER has produced this report summary and it is available at both our websites www.click.org.my and www.awer.org.my. You can view the pictures of the products tested there as well.

I have summarised the press statement as below:

Association of Water and Energy Research Malaysia (AWER) has conducted a baseline study to establish heating efficiency for selected type of heating products. This study focused on water boiling process using various methods. For this purpose, products with stable market performance and commonly used are chosen. This study is a part of Sustainable Production and Consumption Project funded by British High Commission, Kuala Lumpur and the UK Government.

Usage of thermal energy has been an important element in human civilisation. Large amount of energy is needed to increase temperature from room temperature to desired temperature for daily activities such as for personal comfort (in colder climate) or for cooking. Some of the energy resources that are being used in Malaysia to produce heat for cooking are wood, gas and electricity. Both gas and electricity are very dominantly used for the past decade for this purpose.


Recommendation 1: Introduce MEPS (Minimum Energy Performance Standard) and 5 Star Energy Efficiency Rating Labelling for Gas Stove, Electric Cookers and Electric Kettles

AWER has used a normal gas stove and induction cooker as well as 5 types of kettles to conduct the baseline study. These products are widely used in Malaysia. Based on the heating efficiency test results, it is evident that boiling water with gas stove and induction cooker use more energy compared to electric kettles. AWER has estimated that boiling 1 litre of water with gas stove will cost up to 4.5 cents and 2.6 cents with induction cooker. Comparatively, the electric kettles cost around 1.9 cents. However, when we include the element of subsidy (both Liquefied Petroleum Gas - LPG and electricity generation), these cost are actually way higher. Furthermore, this estimated cost is ONLY for 1 session of boiling 1 litre of water. How many times we have been boiling water for the past 5 years?

AWER urges Energy Commission (ST) to study the feasibility of introducing MEPS and 5 Star Energy Efficiency Rating Labelling for gas stoves, all electrical cookers and electric kettles. This will indirectly reduce energy resources utilisation, carbon emission and subsidy expenditure substantially. This is mainly because high amount of energy is used for cooking by using both electricity and LPG. Based on our study on selected Asia Pacific and ASEAN countries, China, Hong Kong, India, Japan, South Korea and Thailand have introduced labelling mechanism to increase efficiency in utilisation of LPG and electricity. Simple equipments like this are widely used and the impact of ensuring them to be energy efficient is far greater with immediate results.

Recommendation 2: Using coil based kettles to boil large volume of water reduces electricity consumption

We have also found that the kettles with flat heating element have slightly lower heating efficiency and the purchasing cost is few times higher than a coil based kettle. If you are boiling large amount of water daily, it is advisable that you use a coil based kettle as the efficiency is almost similar and it can be purchased for a much cheaper price.

Recommendation 3: Usage of thermal flask is encouraged

Making a hot beverage to drink does not need water with 100°C. You can keep hot water in a thermal flask to enable quick access to hot water when you need it. This is a long forgotten practice by many of us. Remember, using kettles with flat heating element to boil 1 cup or 2 cups of water wastes energy and repeating this few times a day simply will cost you more in your electricity bill.


The inefficiency in gas stove and electric cookers will not only cost us more when we boil water, it causes us to waste our money when we cook our meals daily despite of wasting energy resources (LPG and electricity). While MEPS and 5 star energy efficiency rating labels can help, changes in our habits makes most of the savings and help us to be energy efficient. With increasing demand for energy resources, the cost for LPG and electricity is set to increase. Make the right choices and start CLICKing to Low Carbon Lifestyle at www.click.org.my.

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