International Comparative Analysis of Appliance Efficiency Standards & Labeling Programs: Implications for China
As a growing consumer of household appliances, lighting and electronic products, China has seen a steady rise in residential electricity use with 13% average annual growth since the 1980s. Over the last twenty years, China has implemented a series of new minimum energy performance standards (MEPS) and mandatory and voluntary energy labels to improve appliance energy efficiency. As China begins planning for the next phase of standards and labeling (S&L) program development under the 12th Five Year Plan, an evaluation of recent program developments and future directions is undertaken by drawing upon the experiences and lessons learned of key international S&L program development. Specifically, this study provides in-depth review and comparative analysis of the development and recent advancements in the U.S. MEPS and Energy Star, Australia MEPS and Energy Label, European Union MEPS and Eco-Design Label and Japanese Top Runner programs with China's S&L program. The international comparative analysis focuses on key elements of S&L development including stakeholder participation, program resources, data collection and availability, analytical methods, as well as program implementation and enforcement mechanisms. This study finds that adequate program resources from national and local levels, wide-ranging stakeholder participation, incorporation of various technical and economic analyses in standards development, and program impact evaluations are key features of successful S&L programs and have room for improvement in China. At the same time, however, China has become more proactive than some international programs in areas such as launching check-testing, laboratory round-robin testing and compliance verification for S&L programs.