New IEA Policy Pathways Series shows the way on how to substantially improve implementation of energy efficiency recommendations

(Paris) — 11 October 2010

A lack of technical capacity and know-how hinders many governments from capitalising on the full potential of energy efficiency. Over 40% of the 25 energy efficiency policy recommendations made by the International Energy Agency (IEA) two years ago have not yet been implemented. The recommendations alone could – if implemented globally without delay - save 8.2 Gigatonnes (Gt) CO2 per year by 2030 (the equivalent of twice the European Union’s current yearly emissions). The new IEA series Policy Pathways: Showing the way to energy efficiency implementation now aims at closing this implementation gap.

Presenting the new series today in Paris, IEA Executive Director Nobuo Tanaka said, “Governments are missing a great opportunity to save energy. Even the countries that are most proactive on energy efficiency have implemented less than 60% of the IEA energy efficiency recommendations! This shows that although clearly energy efficiency can save energy and CO2 emissions at very little or no cost, barriers remain for governments to put effective policies in place. The Policy Pathway series should help countries overcome these barriers”. The Australian Secretary of the Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism Drew Clarke who joined Mr. Tanaka on the panel said, “This publication shows how countries can improve energy efficiency in ways appropriate to their national and policy circumstances.”

For example, implementing a policy that regulates refrigerator energy efficiency levels requires a government to undertake a series of actions such as establishing the technical testing procedures, building testing laboratories, and/or training skilled testing technicians. This all takes time, resources, and experience. The Policy Pathways series is about helping countries to implement essential energy efficiency policies like refrigerator energy performance standards. It provides policymakers with practical ‘how-to’ guides for designing, implementing and evaluating energy efficiency policies. In these times of austerity, governments can conserve resources by benefiting from the experiences and lessons learned by other countries.

Armed with this information from the Policy Pathway series, “we hope countries will be better able to implement effective energy efficiency policies – and, therefore, achieve greater energy efficiency improvement,” said Mr. Tanaka. “If you give a country an energy efficiency recommendation, you hold their attention for a day. Help a country to implement the recommendation, and you can launch energy savings that last for years.”

The first Policy Pathway in the series covers improving compliance within appliance and equipment energy efficiency programmes through monitoring, verification and enforcement (MVE). The use of electricity by appliances in IEA countries accounts for 15% of total electricity consumption and is growing, particularly in non-IEA countries. Energy efficiency in lighting and appliances is estimated to have a large energy-saving potential in the order of 306 Mtoe per year by 2030. Furthermore, according to the IEA publication Energy Technology Perspectives 2010 (ETP 2010) Blue Map Scenario, which aims at halving CO2 emissions in 2050 compared to 2005 levels, the bulk of these savings can be achieved in the short to medium-term. Non-compliance in standards and labelling programmes could be as high as 20% to 50% and so improving MVE is crucial to ensure cost-effective energy savings are achieved. “To make compliance a reality, we need to M-o-V-E now!” Mr. Tanaka said.

Example of MVE from Australia:

Mandatory labelling requirements have been in place in Australia since 1992 for major consumer appliances like refrigerators, dishwashers, clothes washers and dryers. By the end of the 1990s, only the most efficient products were on the market. In 2001 regulators decided to undertake a national survey to monitor compliance with a new more stringent label.

Three national surveys of appliances for sale on retail showroom floors have since been conducted. The surveys show a steady improvement in compliance with the mandatory labelling requirement, from 94% in 2001 improving to 98% on average across the nation in 2009. When the overall results for each survey were finalised, government authorities not only reported the general outcome to the wider community and store associations, but also wrote to each examined store showing them their results in comparison to local competitors. Some of the poorest performing stores were formally warned about breaching the labelling regulations and enforcement of legalproceedings was taken against them. As a result of MVE activities such as these, Australia now rivals the best reported compliance rates in the world of this form of Standards and labelling requirement.

The IEA plans a series of Policy Pathways that will focus on implementing the 25 energy efficiency policy recommendations. Following the release of the appliances MVE Pathway, the Agency will be releasing a Pathway on building energy performance certification in early November (at Singapore Energy Week) and energy management in industry in spring 2011.

Concluding, Mr. Tanaka called attention to two important high-level meetings that will be held at the IEA later in the week: on 14 October, a Partnership Meeting on Energy and Sustainability which will include delegations from all IEA member countries as well as representatives from 13 invited “partner” countries; and on 15 October, the International Low-Carbon Energy Technology Platform which will include delegations from all 28 IEA member countries, 16 “partner” countries as well as representatives from industry, business and international organisations. “Both initiatives were endorsed during the 2009 IEA Ministerial meeting and are now becoming reality - a move to reflect that global cooperation and collaboration are now priorities for the IEA,” Mr. Tanaka said.

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