Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

New EU energy label critical for emissions' targets

02.09.2009
New research findings from the University of St. Gallen in Switzerland reveal that Europe's targets to cut energy consumption and carbon emissions could be undermined should the European Parliament go ahead with a new proposed energy labelling scheme for televisions, as well as potentially cost retailers millions of euros in lost revenue.

The independent research study, "Consumer survey on the new format of the European Energy Label for televisions" by Stefanie Heinzle and Rolf Wüstenhagen from the Institute for Economy and the Environment, University of St. Gallen, which was funded by the German Ministry for Education and Research, provides critical insights for the ongoing debate between the European Commission, industry groups, consumer organizations and the European Parliament about the future energy efficiency label.

TVs are the latest household appliance to be certified with the well-known EU energy label designed to clearly show consumers energy efficiency levels of high-consuming products, on an A to G scale, meaning efficient to less efficient.

Following proposals made by CECED, the industry association of European appliance manufacturers, the EU Commission had suggested changing the existing A to G scale by introducing a new set of categories at the top end of the scale, such as "A, A-20%", "A-40%", "A-60%", with A-60% being more energy efficient than an A rating.

In its May 8, 2009 decision, a majority of the European Parliament argued that changing away from the well-understood A to G scale might confuse consumers, and asked the Commission to revisit their proposal, due to be discussed on 8 September.

The study's principal investigator, Professor Rolf Wüstenhagen said the findings confirmed that con-cern.

The findings were derived from 2,148 observations, where half of the consumers surveyed were exposed to the existing label (A to G), and the other half received an otherwise identical survey, but with the proposed new categories (A-20% etc.).

With the introduction of the new categories (A-20%), the importance of the energy label sharply dropped (from 34% to 24%) resulting in participants of the sample choosing price (importance increasing from 35% to 44%) over energy efficiency, which would, if implemented, have consequences for emissions' targets.

Specifically, consumers perceived the difference between, for example, A-40% and A-20% in the new proposed scheme as being significantly smaller than the difference between A and B in the old scheme, whereas in fact it reflects a similar difference in underlying energy consumption.

"The results of the study suggest that sticking to the established, straightforward and easily understood format of the A to G label may be a good idea. Not only would an extended scheme of ever more fine-grained variations of the A category confuse consumers, it could also work against EU targets to cut energy consumption and carbon emissions," Wüstenhagen said.

"We also believe that the new labelling scheme would not be in the best interests of the electronics industry because it would not allow them to reap the benefits of increased consumer willingness-to-pay for clearly identifiable energy-efficient products. So it could actually destroy real market value for the TV industry," he said.

Industry groups have tended to prefer the new proposed labelling system, fearing a loss in sales should their products be subjected to a clear ranking system. What manufacturers and retailers may have underestimated is that, as the study reveals, survey participants showed a significant willingness to pay a higher price for higher efficiency.

Using the old labelling system, survey respondents were willing to pay 18% more for an energy efficient product (A vs. B labelled), which results in a price of 132 euros more that the customer was willing to pay, whereas within the group of respondents using the new system (A-20%), respondents were only willing to pay four per cent more for an energy efficient product, amounting to 28 euros.

Assuming sales of eight million TV sets every year, and conservatively estimating the difference in willingness to pay between the old and the new labelling scheme based on the University's research results, retailers could face a forgone revenue of several hundred million euros with the introduction of the new scheme.

Co-ordinator of the research project, Dr Klaus Rennings from the Centre for European Economic Re-search (ZEW), said innovation over time should be reflected in the EU energy label by dynamic adap-tation of the criteria to qualify for the best rankings and, perhaps, not by inventing new categories.

"This would keep the simple structure of the label for the consumer intact. At least, switching to a new label would require a careful information campaign for customers," he said.

The European Parliament has asked the Commission to submit a revised proposal by September 30, 2009.

Contacts for further enquiries
Professor Rolf Wüstenhagen, Institute for Economy and Environment, University of St. Gallen, email: rolf.wuestenhagen@unisg.ch, ; mobile: +41 76 306 43 13.
Media Contact (English)
Philippa Webb; Marketing and Communication; email: philippa.webb@unisg.ch; phone: +41 (0)71 224 37 09; mobile: +41 79 430 03 84

Marius Hasenböhler | idw
Further information:
http://goodenergies.iwoe.unisg.ch
http://ww.unisg.ch

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Real-time feedback helps save energy and water
08.02.2017 | Otto-Friedrich-Universität Bamberg

nachricht The Great Unknown: Risk-Taking Behavior in Adolescents
19.01.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Bildungsforschung

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Breakthrough with a chain of gold atoms

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

Im Focus: DNA repair: a new letter in the cell alphabet

Results reveal how discoveries may be hidden in scientific “blind spots”

Cells need to repair damaged DNA in our genes to prevent the development of cancer and other diseases. Our cells therefore activate and send “repair-proteins”...

Im Focus: Dresdner scientists print tomorrow’s world

The Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and Technische Universität Dresden inaugurated their jointly operated Center for Additive Manufacturing Dresden (AMCD) with a festive ceremony on February 7, 2017. Scientists from various disciplines perform research on materials, additive manufacturing processes and innovative technologies, which build up components in a layer by layer process. This technology opens up new horizons for component design and combinations of functions. For example during fabrication, electrical conductors and sensors are already able to be additively manufactured into components. They provide information about stress conditions of a product during operation.

The 3D-printing technology, or additive manufacturing as it is often called, has long made the step out of scientific research laboratories into industrial...

Im Focus: Mimicking nature's cellular architectures via 3-D printing

Research offers new level of control over the structure of 3-D printed materials

Nature does amazing things with limited design materials. Grass, for example, can support its own weight, resist strong wind loads, and recover after being...

Im Focus: Three Magnetic States for Each Hole

Nanometer-scale magnetic perforated grids could create new possibilities for computing. Together with international colleagues, scientists from the Helmholtz Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) have shown how a cobalt grid can be reliably programmed at room temperature. In addition they discovered that for every hole ("antidot") three magnetic states can be configured. The results have been published in the journal "Scientific Reports".

Physicist Dr. Rantej Bali from the HZDR, together with scientists from Singapore and Australia, designed a special grid structure in a thin layer of cobalt in...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Booth and panel discussion – The Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings at the AAAS 2017 Annual Meeting

13.02.2017 | Event News

Complex Loading versus Hidden Reserves

10.02.2017 | Event News

International Conference on Crystal Growth in Freiburg

09.02.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

From rocks in Colorado, evidence of a 'chaotic solar system'

23.02.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

'Quartz' crystals at the Earth's core power its magnetic field

23.02.2017 | Earth Sciences

Antimicrobial substances identified in Komodo dragon blood

23.02.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>