International Database of Efficient Appliances (IDEA): A Novel Tool for Efficiency Program Development and Evaluation

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Energy efficiency standards and labeling (S&L) programs for appliances are an important part of most developed economies’ energy policy portfolios. It is difficult to evaluate the full impact of these programs on global energy demand, however, since such programs may have significant additional effects beyond the borders of the market being regulated. At present, the data required to understand the international impacts of S&L programs are highly fragmented, with different required data residing with a wide variety of retailers, manufacturers, market research firms and government agencies. Further complicating matters, efficiency data is measured using different metrics and test procedures from nation to nation. Until the various data sets can be brought together and made comparable, a full accounting of S&L impacts will remain elusive. To address these problems, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory is constructing the International Database of Efficient Appliances (IDEA), a flexible database for organizing, aggregating and storing market and energy-performance data on a variety of appliances, electronics, and other equipment sold worldwide, collected via webcrawling and other data collection techniques. This paper describes the concept behind IDEA, the technical and analytical aspects associated with its development, and example applications in the context of efficiency program evaluation. A first look at early IDEA data on refrigerators in India is presented.

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