Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Energy efficiency standards and labelling not only reduce appliance energy use but also induce price decline

Contrary to common assumption that raising energy efficiency levels will push up purchase prices for equipment, in Australia the real price for new refrigerators, washing machines and dishwashers, sold between 1993 and 2014, dropped by 33 - 49%, while energy consumption decreased by 20 - 44% (see the table above). The similar changes are happening also in EU countries and in the U.S. These data are presented in the recent IEA's report "Achievements of appliance energy efficiency standards and labelling programs".
The reason why energy efficiency regulations have had such surprising long-term impact on purchase prices appears mainly due to changes in retail mark-ups, economies of scale in production and innovation by manufacturers.
Energy efficiency standards and labelling (EESL) programs use the following complementary tools to improve the energy efficiency performance of appliances and equipment:
- Energy labels enable consumers to make an informed choice at the point of purchase, either by showing the comparative performance of all appliances (rating labels) or by identifying the best-in-class products (endorsement labels).
- Minimum energy performance standards (MEPS) provide a level playing field in competitive markets by removing the worst performing products without diminishing consumer choice.
EESL programs have been in existence since the 1970s and now operate in more than 80 countries around the world, covering more than 50 different types of appliances and equipment in the commercial, industrial and residential sectors. Read more at