|Title||International Review of the Development and Implementation of Energy Efficiency Standards and Labeling Programs|
|Year of Publication||2012|
|Authors||Zhou, Nan, Nina Zheng, and David Fridley|
|Publisher||Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory|
|Keywords||appliances, china energy, china energy group, energy analysis and environmental impacts department, energy efficiency standards, labeling|
Appliance energy efficiency standards and labeling (S&L) programs have been important policy tools forregulating the efficiency of energy-using products for over 40 years and continue to expand in terms ofgeographic and product coverage. The most common S&L programs include mandatory minimumenergy performance standards (MEPS) that seek to push the market for efficient products, and energyinformation and endorsement labels that seek to pull the market. This study seeks to review andcompare some of the earliest and most well-developed S&L programs in three countries and one region:the U.S. MEPS and ENERGY STAR, Australia MEPS and Energy Label, European Union MEPS andEcodesign requirements and Energy Label and Japanese Top Runner programs. For each program, keyelements of S&L programs are evaluated and comparative analyses across the programs undertaken toidentify best practice examples of individual elements as well as cross-cutting factors for success andlessons learned in international S&L program development and implementation.
The international review and comparative analysis identified several overarching themes andhighlighted some common factors behind successful program elements. First, standard-setting andprogrammatic implementation can benefit significantly from a legal framework that stipulates a specifictimeline or schedule for standard-setting and revision, product coverage and legal sanctions for non-compliance. Second, the different MEPS programs revealed similarities in targeting efficiency gains thatare technically feasible and economically justified as the principle for choosing a standard level, in manycases at a level that no product on the current market could reach. Third, detailed survey data such asthe U.S. Residential Energy Consumption Survey (RECS) and rigorous analyses provide a strongfoundation for standard-setting while incorporating the participation of different groups of stakeholdersfurther strengthen the process. Fourth, sufficient program resources for program implementation andevaluation are critical to the effectiveness of standards and labeling programs and cost-sharing betweennational and local governments can help ensure adequate resources and uniform implementation. Lastly,check-testing and punitive measures are important forms of enforcement while the cancellation ofregistration or product sales-based fines have also proven effective in reducing non-compliance.
The international comparative analysis also revealed the differing degree to which the level ofgovernment decentralization has influenced S&L programs and while no single country has bestpractices in all elements of standards and labeling development and implementation, national examplesof best practices for specific elements do exist. For example, the U.S. has exemplified the use of rigorousanalyses for standard-setting and robust data source with the RECS database while Japan's Top Runnerstandard-setting principle has motivated manufacturers to exceed targets. In terms of standardsimplementation and enforcement, Australia has demonstrated success with enforcement given its longhistory of check-testing and enforcement initiatives while mandatory information-sharing between EUjurisdictions on compliance results is another important enforcement mechanism. These examples showthat it is important to evaluate not only the drivers of different paths of standards and labelingdevelopment, but also the country-specific context for best practice examples in order to understandhow and why certain elements of specific S&L programs have been effective.