Huge potential from global energy efficiency standards

Savings and benefits of global regulations for energy efficient products: A ‘cost of non-world’ study

Published: 11/11/2015

Minimum energy performance standards (MEPS) and energy efficiency labels for appliances and equipment are increasingly applied by countries around the world, but in a variety of ways and at different levels of ambition. This study examines the potential for greater harmonisation of these different approaches and the impacts that would be achieved.

Energy and emissions savings if globally harmonised standards were agreed could be huge, i.e. more than 10% of global final energy consumption. With other benefits to trade, economic growth, employment, consumers, the environment and innovation also evident for the EU and others.

In a ‘what if’ exercise this study models three different scenarios for global harmonisation. The lead scenario estimates energy use in 2030 if from 2020 the current highest MEPS for consumer, commercial and industrial appliances and equipment were aligned to the current most ambitious MEPS level. The study also explores the impacts if this happened already as of today, and if in addition to MEPS the most ambitious current energy labelling system were also applied. Examining key economies, the EU, the US, China, India and South Africa, the report identified the current leading MEPS, which vary by appliance.

Ecofys prepared the study together Waide Strategic Efficiency, Tait Consulting and Sea Green Tree by order of the European Commission, Directorate-General for Energy.