Increasing effectiveness and efficiency of product energy policy

H.P. Siderius

Research output: ThesisDoctoral thesis 2 (Research NOT UU / Graduation UU)


Energy efficiency improvements in end-uses constitute a large potential to curb primary energy demand into a more sustainable direction. This thesis addresses some of the challenges for policy measures that tap into that potential (minimum efficiency performance standards (MEPS) and energy labels) and investigates how these measures can be made more effective and efficient. Both MEPS and energy labels can become more effective by: •Countries learning from each other’s policies. This thesis demonstrates a method, mapping and benchmarking, how to compare energy efficiency levels across countries. Three products have been benchmarked and an improvement has been shown in efficiency over time in all countries for which data was collected. The mapping of these products for the EU shows large energy efficiency potential: between 37 % and 63 %. Furthermore, the dynamic aspect of policies, i.e. the regular update of MEPS and energy labels, seems to be more important in improving efficiency than the choice of a specific policy. •Applying experience curves in life cycle cost (LCC) calculations. Experience curves provide an estimate for the experience ratio, the reduction in costs when cumulative production volume is doubled. Currently prices used in LCC calculation are mostly overestimated. Using experience curves provides more realistic, lower price estimates and thereby results in more stringent MEPS levels. For the EU Ecodesign scheme additional savings were estimated to be more than 140 % for laundry driers and 100 % for refrigerator-freezers. •Using a top runner approach that allows for more stringent MEPS, regarding level and/or timing. Furthermore, the top runner approach can be used as an alternative for products were the price does not relate to the energy efficiency and therefore LCC calculations can not guide the setting of MEPS. This thesis shows that for 15 consumer electronic and information and communication products price does not relate to the efficiency of the product if also performance and time are taken into account. For these products, the MEPS level can be set by the level of ambition of the policy, and the average price decrease of the product guides the entry into force date of the measure. The process of preparing and adopting MEPS and energy labels can be made more efficient by: •Using the concept of the policy action window (PAW) to make the overall process more efficient by avoiding spending time on policy measures for products that improve efficiency fast enough without measures. Since the process of preparation and adoption of product efficiency measures can easily take three years or more, policy makers should be cautious in preparing measures that have a PAW of less than three years. •Applying a horizontal approach where in one measure MEPS are set for a single functional aspect for a large number of products. •Taking into account characteristics of the product allowing for better tuning the process. Products that have a lower than average technical complexity and political sensitivity could have a shorter process. A shorter process results in more savings, because measures can come into force earlier.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • Utrecht University
  • Blok, K., Primary supervisor
Award date24 Oct 2014
Print ISBNs978-90-8672-060-6
Publication statusPublished - 24 Oct 2014


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