Evidence of Progress – Measurement of Impacts of Australia’s S&L Program from 1990-2010
Australia first put categorical energy efficiency labels on residential appliances in the mid-1980s, and the first Minimum Energy Performance Standards (MEPS) for refrigerators was implemented in 1999. Updated in 2005, these MEPS were aligned with US 2001 levels. Considered together, these actions set Australia apart as having one of the most aggressive appliance efficiency programs in the world. For these reasons, together with good data on product sales over time, Australia represents a potentially fruitful case study for understanding the dynamics energy efficiency standards and labeling (EES&L) programs impacts on appliance markets. This analysis attempts to distinguish between the impacts of labeling alone as opposed to MEPS, and to probe the time-dependency of such impacts.
Fortunately, in the Australian case, detailed market sales data and a comprehensive registration system provides a solid basis for the empirical evaluation of these questions. This paper analyzes Australian refrigerator efficiency data covering the years 1993-2009. Sales data was purchased from a commercial market research organization (in this case, the GfK Group) and includes sales and average price in each year for each appliance model – this can be used to understand broader trends by product class and star rating category, even where data is aggregated. Statistical regression analysis is used to model market introduction and adoption of high efficiency refrigerators according to logistic adoption model formalism, and parameterizes the way in which the Australian programs accelerated adoption of high-efficiency products and phased out others. Through this analysis, the paper presents a detailed, robust and quantitative picture of the impacts of EES&L in the Australian case, but also demonstrates a methodology of the evaluation of program impacts that could form the basis of an international evaluation framework for similar programs in other countries.