Energy+ : Procurement on Very Energy Efficient White Goods

  • Project no.4126
  • Duration 04/2002 - 12/2004

Co-operative and technology procurement was identified as one of the new key policy measures in the Energy Efficiency Action plan issued by the European Commission last year.

The present project aims to build upon the procurement concept developed in the extremely successful two year Save II funded pilot project, "Aggregated purchase at European level for A-rated fridge/freezers", more widely know as Energy+, which came to a close in June 2001. Energy+ is a procurement initiative involving the full spectrum of market actors (manufacturers, retailers, national and European authorities, environmental and consumer organisations) in 10 EU countries, which for the first time has implemented a procurement action at European level. The project has shown that, given inspired objectives defined in line with European Policy, market actors can in a very short time (< 12 months) develop and introduce tangible marketable highly energy efficient products. Energy+ has led directly to the introduction of the 16 most efficient fridge-freezers (with net volume between 200 and 300 litres) onto the European market by four of the most important European white goods manufacturers. On the buyers' side, retailers representing more than 15.000 retail outlets and housing associations representing over 1 million dwellings were involved. The project was also supported by many of Europe's most prestigious environmental and consumer associations, as well as European and national authorities. As such the project provided an extremely positive example of "subsidiarity". More details about the Energy+ project can be found on the project's website: www.energy-plus.org.

The Energy+ procurement concept builds upon the European energy labelling scheme for domestic white goods. It works to increase the market share of existing high efficiency products and to assist manufacturers to prepare for label revision (co-operative procurement) as well as to stimulate the continued improvement of the most efficient products (technology procurement).

As the energy labelling scheme enters a period of review and transition, the Energy+ concept is particularly valid in:

  • identifying, highlighting and helping in marketing the most efficient appliances available on the European market at any given moment (true both before and after the EU label revision process);
  • providing invaluable assistance to those market actors investing in energy efficiency by increasing the profile of participants, especially manufacturers achieving high product efficiency (generating publicity and thus incentive for manufacturers to comply with new stringent labelling requirements);
  • reducing costs and market prices through increased economies of scale.

Given the success of Energy+, the new project, Energy+ 2, (or 2E+) will:

  • expand the Energy+ scope to other categories of the domestic cold goods market (e.g. freezers, tabletops, etc.). 2E+ will concentrate on increasing the penetration of existing and new high efficient cold appliances. The project’s goal is to expand to at least one more domestic cold appliance.
  • capitalise upon contacts developed with manufacturers, retailers and buyers. 2E+ will provide a coherent and natural progression to manufacturers and retailers who have themselves invested time and resources in Energy+ and are anxious to see work proceed to a wider range of goods - thus allowing retailers to market the products to a wider audience of buyers.
  • promote the Energy+ concept. In order to make the market aware of 2E+ and its results, promotion will continue. Various tools will be used, thereby improving awareness of the Energy+ logo.

The expected results of the 2E+ project are:

  • a significant number of new, highly efficient cold appliances in more than one category will be introduced across the European market during the project;
  • an increased number of important decision-makers/buyers will be aware of the existence and advantages of highly efficient appliances;
  • the market share of Class A appliances within the categories covered in the proposal will be increased.

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