Appliance Efficiency

Appliance Efficiency

Improving energy efficiency of appliances globally saves energy, decreases pollution, reduces costs to consumers and improves energy security worldwide. As household income rises in developing and emerging economies, growing appliance ownership and usage becomes an increasingly important driver for energy consumption and related emissions, particularly in countries where power sector generation is still dominated by fossil fuels. In these countries, regulatory policies and market transformation programs have been developed to help achieveVarious appliances large-scale energy efficiency market transformation to capture economic and environmental benefits. 

Drawing on expertise from the U.S. (including in-house expertise from Berkeley Lab’s Energy Efficiency Standards Department and Electricity Markets and Policy Department) and other successful international programs since 1987, the International Energy Analysis Department (IEAD) has provided technical and regulatory support to help various countries develop, expand and refine their policies and programs to improve appliance energy efficiency.


Techno-economic Analyses for Market Transformation Programs

IEAD works collaboratively with countries in Asia, Latin America and Africa to adopt and adapt different types of techno-economic analyses to set mandatory efficiency requirements, learn from global best practices on policy implementation and enforcement. Our early work focused on technical assistance in the development of minimum energy performance standards (MEPS), test procedures, and the voluntary labeling criteria in China and India. We provided trainings on international techno-economic analytical tools and best practices.

More recently, as in-country technical capacity has grown, IEAD's regulatory support to China and India has extended to areas such as enforcement testing, laboratory round-robin testing, policy impact assessments and strengthening the framework for developing standards and labeling. IEAD is now also working with various countries including Brazil, Mexico, Indonesia, South Africa, Rwanda in expanding their standards and labeling programs. We provide trainings on international techno-economic analytical tools and best practices that build on decades of experience in the U.S. and internationally, ensure robust analyses, and contribute to building a sustainable technical capacity within government agencies to support impactful programs.

The specific types of analyses provided by IEAD in support of raising global appliance energy efficiency include:

  • Market analysis to understand existing technology efficiency trends 
  • Identification of Best Available Technologies (BAT) and components in global and country-specific markets 
  • Stock turnover modeling of energy and environmental impacts for appliance portfolio policy prioritization 
  • Tools and models for conducting efficiency-cost curve, consumer life-cycle cost impact, and national energy and emissions impact analysis to evaluate different potential efficiency requirements (e.g., PAMS)
  • Retrospective and prospective impact evaluation of existing and proposed policies and programs
  • Technical assistance in development or improvement of test procedures 

In addition, IEAD has also provided technical support in designing the policy framework and product criteria, program implementation and enforcement mechanisms, for international market transformation programs, including:

  • Mandatory and voluntary energy labeling programs
  • Government and bulk procurement programs
  • Incentive programs
  • Retailer and manufacturer promotion programs 
  • Regional compliance check-testing pilots
China Standards & Labeling Program Development

Since China’s first national minimum energy performance standards (MEPS) was adopted in 1989, dozens of Chinese technical and management staff have come to Berkeley Lab to conduct joint analyses related to appliance standards and test procedures, and information and comparative energy labels. IEAD assisted China in developing and implementing national appliance energy efficiency standards and labels to reduce energy use and related emissions in the world’s largest appliance market. China now has over 65 MEPS and mandatory labels for over 37 products, with estimated 2030 annual energy savings equal to electricity generated by 8 Three Gorges Dam or 173 large coal-fired power plants. IEAD has also provided technical and analytical support for China’s voluntary endorsement label for high efficiency products based on U.S. ENERGY STAR’s experience in linking government procurement program to efficiency, and in developing the mandatory comparative China Energy Label.

The Superefficient Equipment and Appliances Deployment (SEAD) Initiative

As the technical lead for the SEAD Initiative from 2010-2016, Berkeley Lab provided technical analyses supporting key policies and programs in SEAD member countries including revision of air conditioner (AC) and ceiling fan standards and bulk procurement program for ACs in India as well as incentive programs for refrigerators in South Africa along with global product specific technical analyses on ACs, refrigerators, televisions, computer monitors and ceiling fans.

Kigali Cooling Efficiency Program

Sponsored by the Kigali Cooling Efficiency Program from 2017-2020, Berkeley Lab provided technical, engineering, and market analyses supporting revision of the Variable Refrigerant Flow AC standard in China, and room AC standards in Brazil, South Africa and Rwanda and the commercial AC standard in Mexico. Berkeley Lab also co-authored the United for Efficiency (U4E) model regulations for ACs presented to 147 countries in 2019 and expected to be widely adopted in emerging economies. The potential worldwide energy and environmental benefits by 2040 that are possible with a market transition to energy efficient and climate friendly ACs that meet the U4E model regulation guidelines are estimated to be about 558 terawatt-hours, equivalent to electricity generation from 255 medium-sized (500-megawatt-capacity) power plants and 516 million tons of CO2 emissions.