State Trading Organization (STO) has unveiled a new range of refrigerators and washing machines bearing the ‘Hakathari’ label as part of its efforts to increase the availability of energy-efficient appliances and promote environmental sustainability. The Hakathari programme, managed by the Ministry of Climate Change, Environment and Energy, aims to ensure that electrical appliances entering the Maldivian market comply with requisite efficiency benchmarks.

Initiated in 2021, the Hakathari rating system categorises appliances based on their energy efficiency, with products featuring up to five stars to denote varying levels of efficiency. Notably, a higher star rating signifies superior energy efficiency, with the most eco-friendly appliances awarded five stars and the least efficient designated one star.

As the pioneering participant in the Hakathari programme, STO marked a significant milestone on 12 May 2022 by introducing Hakathari-labelled products for the first time in the Maldives market, the first of which was an air conditioner from the Hitachi brand.

STO’s Hakathari-labelled air conditioners boast enhanced energy efficiency, consuming 42 percent less electricity than conventional models, according to the state-owned company. Building on this success, STO expanded its Hakathari lineup in November 2023 by introducing 14 models of Hitachi refrigerators with three- and four-star Hakathari ratings.

By integrating Hakathari-labelled refrigerators and washing machines into its product portfolio, STO underscores its commitment to advancing environmental conservation and energy efficiency initiatives. STO’s participation in the Hakathari programme is driven by a desire to empower customers with transparent information regarding the energy performance of products available at STO outlets, the company said.

STO notes a tangible increase in customer trust and confidence following the implementation of Hakathari labelling, underscoring the positive reception of energy-efficient appliances within the market. Looking ahead, STO plans to introduce additional Hakathari-labelled products from the Hitachi brand, further solidifying its position in sustainable consumer goods offerings.

According to the Environment Ministry, the Hakathari programme operates on a voluntary basis, with importers required to register and obtain energy efficiency labelling approval to qualify for the Hakathari label. The programme’s initial phase includes air conditioners, refrigerators, and washing machines.