Top Runner Programme

Last updated: 15 April 2019

This is Japan’s main program to improve energy efficiency of energy- consuming products. The program is regulated by Energy Efficiency Act and sets its standard values, which should be complied to by product manufactures.

The target manufacturer is obliged to surpass a weighted average value for all their products per category for each predetermined target year. This is also applied to overseas manufacturers who export their products to Japan (“Importers”). The concept of using weighted average value is that this gives a manufacturer the option of producing both very efficient products and less efficient products for a variety of corporate reasons. This means that it leads the product market in the right direction while retaining product diversification yet still boosting energy efficiency of all the products as a whole. This is unique in this program where, in contrast to overseas requirements, Japanese standards do not preclude equipment that fails to meet the standards from the market.

The Program started in 1998 with 9 products: room air conditioners, fluorescent lamps, televisions, copying machines, computers, magnetic disk units, video cassette recorders, refrigerators, passenger vehicles, and freight vehicles. The scope was reviewed every two to three years and by 2009 had gradually expanded to 21 products. As of today 23 products are included. The electricity consumed by the Top Runner targeted products sums up to more than 70% of residential electricity consumption.

The current target products are as follows : passenger vehicle, freight vehicle, air conditioner, electric refrigerator, electric freezer, electric rice cooker, microwave oven, lighting equipment, electric toilet seat, TV set, video cassette recorder, DVD recorder, computer, magnetic disk unit, copying machine, space heater, gas cooking appliance, gas water heater, oil water heater, vending machine, transformer, routers, switching unit, AC motors, LED lamp, sash(window), multi-paned glazing, multi-function device, printer, electric water heater (heat pump), showcases and insulation materials.

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End uses covered
  • Building end-uses
  • Building systems
  • Space heating
  • Space cooling
  • Lighting
  • Appliances
  • Refrigeration
  • Cooking
  • Plug loads
  • Building envelope
  • Transport end-uses
  • Private passenger transport
  • Freight transport