Appliances and Equipment
Residential appliances and equipment represent one of the fastest-growing energy loads. The IEA estimates that at least 3.7 EJ per year could be saved cost-effectively by 2030. The suite of IEA appliance and equipment recommendations covers minimum energy performance standards (MEPS) or labels, energy performance test standards and measurement protocols, and complementary market transformation policies. Mandatory energy performance standards and labels have proven to be a highly cost-effective policy tool for encouraging the reduction of average energy consumption in equipment without reducing consumer choice or triggering sustained increases in prices.
The effective implementation of energy efficiency policies for appliances and equipment relies upon the use of accurate energy performance measurement standards and protocols. National energy efficiency policy objectives will be undermined by energy measurement standards that fail to reflect actual energy use and/or provide a true in-use efficiency ranking of equipment. Furthermore, experience shows that international co-ordination on test standards for globally traded products can reduce industry compliance costs. Governments should complement mandatory energy performance requirements and labels with a package of measures that accelerate the transformation of the appliance market towards high-efficiency products.
The electricity demand of our increasingly digital economies is growing at an alarming rate. While data centre energy demand has received much attention, of greater cause for concern is the growing energy demand of billions of networked devices such as smart phones, tablets and television set-top boxes. In 2013, a relatively small portion of the world’s population relied on more than 14 billion of these devices to stay connected. That number could skyrocket to 500 billion by 2050, driving dramatic increases in both energy demand and wasted energy.
Being connected 24/7 means these information and communication technology (ICT) devices draw energy all the time, even when in standby mode. More Data, Less Energy probes their hidden energy costs. In 2013, such devices consumed 616 terawatt-hours (TWh) of electricity, surpassing the total electricity consumption of Canada. Studies show that for some devices, such as game consoles, up to 80% of the energy consumption is used just to maintain a network connection. Implementing best available technologies could reduce the energy demand of network-enabled devices by up to 65%. In the absence of strong market drivers to optimise the energy performance of these devices, policy intervention is needed.
Building on its experience in setting international policy for standby energy consumption of stand-alone devices, the International Energy Agency and the IEA Technology Collaboration Programme for Energy Efficient End-use Equipment (4E) use this publication to set the stage to tackle the much bigger challenge of network standby. In exploring both policy and technology solutions, the book charts a path forward and identifies which stakeholders should take the lead in particular areas. An underlying message is that there is a need for international co-operation across all parts of the ICT value chain.
More information: www.iea.org/etp/networkstandby
The IEA Implementing Agreement 4E has released a companion report Beyond Network Standby: A policy framework and action plan for low energy networks that delves further into the solutions available to improve energy efficiency of network-enabled devices and networks
Policy Pathways: Monitoring, Verification and Enforcement – Improving Compliance within Equipment Energy Efficiency Programmes (2010)
Transforming Global Markets for Clean Energy Products – Energy Efficient Equipment, Vehicles and Solar Photovoltaics (2010)
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