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New CLASP Study Analyses Changes in the Market for Energy Efficient Products in China

01-Nov-2014

China is the world’s largest manufacturing hub for household appliances. For many appliances, the country has also become the global leader in domestic sales. A broad range of appliances have been widely adopted among urban households over the past two decades, and more recently the penetration of appliances into rural areas has been accelerating. The Chinese government has prioritized efforts to address rising energy demand from increasing appliance ownership, implementing a number of policies and programs that encourage the production, sale, and use of high-efficiency products.

In 2013, CLASP partnered with Top10 China and several international experts to produce Market Analysis of China Energy Efficient Products (MACEEP), a first-of-its kind, third-party analysis of the size, shape, and efficiency of China’s domestic appliance market. This study combined market research and policy analysis to identify where China’s appliance energy efficiency policies were not keeping pace with emerging technologies or rapid market shifts, and to estimate potential energy savings under different policy scenarios.

Building on key findings from this initial research, the current study, 2014 Market Analysis of China Energy Efficient Products (MACEEP 2014), examines how the appliance market in China has evolved, explores the impact of new regulations on some of the products analyzed in the original MACEEP, and expands that analysis to include other significant energy-using appliances in the domestic sector.

MACEEP 2014’s analysis of six domestic appliances—air conditioners, instantaneous gas and electric water heaters, refrigerators, televisions, and washing machines—demonstrates that the actions taken to date by Chinese policymakers have resulted in substantial improvements in the energy efficiency of these products. However, the analysis also shows additional opportunities for energy and cost savings that could result from further actions.  

Within the six appliance analyses presented in MACEEP 2014, a total of 43 recommendations are made for improving energy efficiency policy in China, ranging from refining the energy label to the technical revision of standards. In each case these recommendations are specific to individual appliances and justified on the evidence presented. A number of overarching themes are also identified, highlighting where adjustments can be made to efficiency policies across a range of appliances, in order to maximize energy savings and accelerate market transformation towards high-efficiency products.

The study was written by Jayond Li, Yang Yu, and Steven Zeng of CLASP’s China office, with additional technical and editorial support from Stuart Jeffcott and review by Mike Scholand.