CLASP 2013 Year in Review

21 February 2014

CLASP’s teams around the world work policy by policy, market by market, and ton by avoided ton to catalyze smarter, faster clean energy measures. All in all, CLASP’s activities in the last 3 years alone led to policies that will result in over 1.3 billion tons of avoided CO2 emissions by 2030. Today, we’re working on policies that will create an additional 7.5 billion tons of CO2 savings by 2030.   

2013 saw major successes under each of our programs, through close collaboration with the world’s best experts and most forward-thinking policymakers in our field. 2013 impacts are listed below, program by program.

This work has been supported by Australia’s Department of Industry, the ClimateWorks Foundation, the Danish Energy Agency’s Low-Carbon Transition Unit, the European Bank for Reconstruction & Development, the Swedish Energy Agency, the UK’s Department of Environment, Food & Rural Affairs, and the US Department of Energy. 


In 2013, CLASP conducted extensive technical analysis and market research to support more stringent energy efficiency policies, and provided strategic advice to the China National Institute of Standardization (CNIS) to focus its resources on priority, high-energy consuming products, at CNIS’ request.

This strategy supported the implementation of several energy saving policies in 2013.  Specifically, CNIS revised energy efficiency standards for several major products, using CLASP and Top10 China’s comprehensive market research study and associated energy savings potential analysis to inform their policy revisions. (Jeffcott Associates & Kevin Lane Oxford Ltd.) 

All in all, CLASP partnered with other energy efficiency experts and organizations to deliver about 16 Mt of avoided carbon emissions per year in 2020, and 20 Mt in 2030 for these revised policies:

  • Variable frequency air conditioners, which will abate 1.1 MtCO2 per year in 2020 and 2 MtCO2 in 2030
  • Washing machines, which will abate .4 MtCO2 per year in 2020 and .8 MtCO2 in 2030
  • Televisions, which will abate 2 MtCO2 per year in 2020 and 4.4 MtCO2 in 2030
  • Heat pump water heaters, which will abate .5 MtCO2 per year in 2020 and 1 MtCO2 in 2030

CNIS also used CLASP’s analysis and recommendations to pass a new energy efficiency standard for lighting,  which will abate 11.7 MtCO2 per year in both 2020 and 2030. 

The policies we supported will negate the need for over seven new 500 MW large coal-fired power plants by 2030.

We additionally published Appliance Energy Efficiency Opportunities: China 2013, a first-of-its-kind paper that synthesizes technological, market, consumer, and international perspectives to strategically improve appliance energy efficiency policies in China.  Distributed to Chinese and US policymakers at a bilateral policy forum in Washington, DC in September, this work resulted from collaboration between our Global Research and China programs. 

European Union

CLASP supports the European Commission (EC) and its partners to increase the stringency level of appliance energy efficiency policies and accelerate regulatory timelines to achieve major energy savings and carbon abatement in the EU.

In 2013, CLASP assisted the EC to develop, revise, and accelerate the implementation of stringent and comprehensive policies for several products. To date, two regulations have passed into law:

  • A revised MEPS on simple standby mode, incorporating domestic coffee machines and networked standby mode, with estimated carbon abatement of 11 MtCO2 per year in 2020
  • A MEPS on computers and computer servers, with an annual carbon abatement potential of 5 - 6.5 MtCO2 by 2020. This regulation also enables electricity cost savings to consumers of about $2.6 - 3.5 billion USD per year in 2020.

In total, CLASP and its partners delivered about 26 Mt reductions in carbon emissions per year in 2020 through the adoption of best-in-class appliance efficiency policies at the European Commission.

Additionally, CLASP and eceee completed a major analysis that identifies potential energy savings of 40-70 TWh per annum by 2030 from the revision of existing regulations covering seven products.  The EC is using the analysis to prioritize the most energy-saving policies and reduce delays in implementation.

CLASP also supports the EC as it reviews the Ecodesign and Energy Labelling Directives – the legislative framework for the EU’s appliance standards and labeling program.  In 2013, CLASP provided analysis and recommendations – including a major assessment of the EU energy label design  – to accelerate and improve the policymaking process. (Navigant)


CLASP supports India’s Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE) on all aspects of appliance energy efficiency, from helping structure new policies to evaluating existing programs. In 2013, our technical and programmatic assistance resulted in the implementation of two new policies:

  • The extension of BEE’s endorsement label to include office equipment,  which will abate 2.5 megatons of CO2 emissions per year in 2020 and 40 MtCO2 in 2030;
  • A voluntary label for inverters, which requires qualifying products to be a minimum of 25-30% more efficient than those currently on the market. This level of improved efficiency has the potential to result in 7.4 Mt of avoided CO2 emissions per year in 2020, and 48 MtCO2 in 2030.

CLASP delivered a total of 10 Mt of abated carbon emissions in India last year, and has laid the groundwork for an additional 57 annually in 2020, through the completion of market and techno-economic analyses in support of several policies, including new requirements for inverter air conditioners and HVAC chillers, as well as revisions to existing policies for color televisions, electric water heaters, direct cool refrigerators, and ceiling fans.

United States

In 2013, CLASP provided strategic, targeted analysis and international best practices on highly efficient and emerging technologies to the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the US Department of Energy (DOE), and the California Energy Commission (CEC) to accelerate and maximize policy and market impacts. 

CLASP’s deep international engagement helped to affect several US policy wins in 2013, centering on clothes dryers and light-emitting diode lamps (LEDs).

In the US, clothes dryers account for 6% of domestic electricity and cost consumers about $9 billion USD in electricity bills every year. Prior to this year, they were the only major household appliance not covered under the ENERGY STAR program.  In its role as technical lead of the Super-Efficient Dryer Initiative (SEDI), CLASP has been working to accelerate policy implementation and market penetration of highly efficient clothes dryers, drawing on advanced technology and market strategies used in Europe.  CLASP-supported work on this product included the following:

  • CLASP assisted EPA to develop labeling specifications for the first-ever ENERGY STAR label for clothes dryers. These specifications will require qualifying dryers to consume 20% less energy than standard electric or gas dryers, resulting in carbon abatement of about .2 MtCO2 per year.  EPA plans to announce the new label in 2014.
  • CLASP assisted EPA to set more stringent specifications for its Emerging Technology Award for advanced clothes dryersThe winning model, announced in June, consumes 30% less energy than the average US clothes dryer.  The EPA Award program increases consumer awareness, motivates manufacturers to produce more efficient products, and informs state utility market transformation programs. 

Additionally, CLASP supported accelerated policy implementation and market penetration of LEDs, which are about six times more efficient than traditional incandescent bulbs and twice as efficient as most compact fluorescent lights (CFLs).  Broad market penetration of LEDs in the US will lead to massive energy savings.  CLASP-supported work on this product included: 

  • CEC finalized a voluntary quality standard for LEDs, using CLASP testing on LED quality and energy performance.  The standard ensures that the lights meet consumer expectations for quality,  and will be applied to state utility incentive programs for LED replacement lamps in 2014.  Standards implemented in the state of California are often adopted as federal standards. 
  • Though California state incentive programs for LEDs won’t go into effect until 2014, Cree Inc., a major multinational LED manufacturer, has already adopted the standard, which means that a large market share of LEDs are already standard-compliant.
  • EPA has developed a new ENERGY STAR label for lighting, covering LEDs, CFLs, and incandescents. CLASP submitted data to EPA that was used to set the part of the specification that addresses LEDs, ensuring that only high-quality LEDs will be eligible to display the label.

Global Research

In 2013, CLASP continued to conduct independent, high-quality research, in collaboration with policymakers, multilateral actors, and other decision makers.  CLASP developed tools and resources to enable comparisons of appliance energy efficiency policies; quantified the potential of energy savings attainable through S&L policy; and investigated emerging technologies and trends that will impact appliance energy efficiency policy. CLASP also disseminated best practice information to influential venues and provided technical assistance to help decision makers replicate those practices.

Improving Comparability
Comparing appliance energy efficiency policies across economies informs policymakers about opportunities to raise the ambition of their national policies to maximize energy savings and CO2 emissions reductions.
In 2013, CLASP launched and completed benchmarking analyses on commercial refrigeration, among other products, and extended our cooling benchmarking analysis.  Benchmarking analyses compare product policies and technologies across economies and identify the best-in-class among them. 

  • Commercial refrigeration equipment (CRE): Many economies around the world are beginning to regulate CRE for the first time, so the data collected and benchmarks determined by this study can provide economies with better information and ambitious targets when setting product policies. CLASP is collaborating with the Joint Research Centre of the Institute for Prospective Technological Studies (JRC-IPTS) – the team that supports the European Commission on revisions of commercial refrigeration EcoDesign requirements – to collect data and maximize limited resources to develop further analyses. The study is completed in collaboration with the SEAD Initiative. (Waide Strategic Efficiency, Saint Trofee & Cemafroid)
  • Cooling Benchmarking:   Extending market and technical analyses undertaken in the Cooling Benchmarking Study  in 2012, CLASP provided Russian policymakers with an overview of the fast-growing AC market and estimated impacts of AC energy consumption in Russia. (Stricker Associates)

CLASP improved the quality and comprehensiveness of information in its Global S&L Database – an online resource that allows policymakers and S&L practitioners to examine and compare policies and regulations across countries and by product.  

  • We incorporated several new economies with S&L programs – including Iran, Israel, Jordan, Namibia, Nigeria, and Turkey. The Database now covers 47 economies and 17 product groups.
  • For the first time, the database was updated to include S&L policies at a sub-national level – the US state of California – whose S&L policies often serve as US and international benchmarks.

Increasing Uptake of Compliance Best Practices

Monitoring, verification, and enforcement (MV&E) are complex policy activities supported by limited government resources and very few international initiatives. Globally, non-compliance with national appliance energy efficiency policies leads to losses in CO2 emission savings of 112 Mt per year.  To safeguard expected energy savings, and to improve the coordination and standardization of global MV&E measures:

  • CLASP launched an online collection of MV&E resources, which provide policymakers and practitioners with direct access to technical and policy studies, best practices information, and economy-specific information. Since its launch at the beginning of 2013, the MV&E online resources have been visited and utilized by over 700 practitioners around the world.
  • CLASP completed translations of the CLASP MV&E Guidebook into Chinese and Russian, at the request of policymakers and S&L practitioners in those economies. (Mark Ellis & Associates)    

Quantifying Energy Savings Potential from Appliance Energy Efficiency Policies

In 2013, CLASP continued its long-standing collaboration with Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) on the Bottom-Up Energy Analysis System (BUENAS)  model.  BUENAS can help policymakers focus resources on cost-effective policy measures, visualizing money-saving impacts for consumers and electricity-conserving impacts for society.

  • CLASP, the SEAD Initiative, and LBNL used BUENAS to prioritize products under consideration for technical analysis and future policy revision. 
  • In preparation for the Clean Energy Ministerial meeting in 2013, SEAD provided an impact assessment using BUENAS analysis to measure the energy savings potential from recent policy achievement in 14 SEAD participating countries. 

Accelerating Market and Policy Adoption of Emerging Technologies

CLASP conducted analyses that will increase knowledge on emerging technologies and trends in the appliance field. For example, Amart Appliances often have capability to interact with the electricity grid and thus can determine when to shift electricity use to off-peak hours, reducing impact on peak loads and saving consumer money on utility bills. In collaboration with George Wilkenfeld and Associates, CLASP just finalized an analysis on smart appliances that provides unified definitions for “Smart Appliances” and outlines current and future implications of smart appliances on appliance energy efficiency policy.  The analysis will enable advanced planning for policy adoption for this new class of technologies.

SEAD Initiative

The Super-efficient Equipment and Appliance Deployment (SEAD) Initiative is a program under the Clean Energy Ministerial (CEM) and International Partnership for Energy Efficiency Cooperation (IPEEC) that leverages high-level political dialogue to advance global appliance and equipment efficiency efforts.

With SEAD, participating governments – 16 in total – have access to the resources and technical expertise needed to build and implement cost-effective product efficiency policies and programs, which lead to reduced energy costs to consumers, more robust economies, and typically represent the lowest-cost opportunities to achieve significant greenhouse gas emission reductions.

Estimates suggest that improving the energy efficiency of products sold in SEAD economies to meet the world's most stringent standards could save 2,000 TWh/year of electricity by 2030, the equivalent of avoiding the construction of 650 mid-sized power plants.

CLASP has served as the Operating Agent for the SEAD Initiative since 2011. In this capacity, the SEAD team at CLASP provides dedicated and comprehensive support to the SEAD Initiative and member governments, working with international experts to develop the technical foundation that enables faster, easier adoption of cost-effective product efficiency policies. CLASP and our partners provide strategic advice, technical expertise, facilitation, and administrative and programmatic support.

In 2013, SEAD launched its second set of Global Efficiency Medal competitions for computer monitors and electric motors.  By recognizing the most energy efficient products in markets around the world, the competition encourages early adopting consumers to purchase top-performing products, and spurs manufacturers to develop and deploy new, energy-saving technologies.

  • Global display award winners, announced in September 2013, are up to 53% more efficient than monitors with similar technology.  Samsung and LG products were recognized for using the least amount of electricity across the four competition regions (Australia, Europe, India, and North America).  A Samsung prototype product, with the potential to nearly double the energy efficiency performance of comparable products currently on the market, won the Emerging Technology category.
  • Motors awards winners will be announced in late 2014. 

In support of sustainable and clean-energy cities, SEAD continued to refine its Street Lighting tool to accelerate deployment of energy efficient street lighting. (Alliance to Save Energy) In 2013, SEAD worked with policymakers in India, Canada, and Mexico to develop a series of regional workshops and trainings with senior government officials, municipal street lighting engineers, manufacturers, and other stakeholders.
SEAD published a number of impactful, policy and market analyses in 2013 to examine opportunities to improve product-specific energy efficiency and improve the comparability of products across countries. 2013 analyses include:

Global LEAP

The Global LEAP Awards, an initiative of the Clean Energy Ministerial’s Global Lighting & Energy Access Partnership (Global LEAP), supports self-sustaining commercial energy access markets. CLASP serves as the Global LEAP Awards’ Operating Agent, and is responsible for identifying and promoting the most energy-efficient, affordable, high quality off-grid TVs and LED lighting appliances.

It’s estimated that 1.2 billion people worldwide live without electric grid access, and another billion have only unreliable access. These people are typically among the world’s poorest. Super-efficient off-grid appliances catalyze economic activity, increase people’s ability to meet basic domestic needs, and help lay the foundation for stronger clean energy markets. They provide greatly improved light and quality of life than that provided by kerosene, and at a much better price. Because they require electricity, demand for off-grid appliances drives uptake of solar home systems (SHSs) in the unelectrified developing world.  Super-efficient appliances enable smaller, more affordable SHSs to provide the same level of service, making the benefits of modern energy more accessible.

Nominations for the Global LEAP Awards’ LED room lighting appliance competition closed in October 2013.  CLASP identified eighteen Finalists across four of the Awards’ product categories, to be tested in a laboratory setting for their quality and performance according to internationally accepted test procedures.

Winners and Finalists of the Global LEAP Awards will benefit from recognition at the 5th Clean Energy Ministerial in Seoul in May 2014, a global publicity campaign, use of an Awards logo and marketing phrase, and business opportunities with leading off-grid retailers and distributors.