Assessment of Opportunities for Global Harmonization of Minimum Energy Performance Standards and Test Standards for Lighting Products

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Lighting is responsible for 19% of the world’s electricity consumption and constitutes 7% of global carbon dioxide (CO₂) emissions (IEA 2006), equal to the combined total emissions of Germany and Japan. Governments have a pivotal role to play in accelerating the adoption of energy-efficient lighting in their countries. This role could consist of one or more actions around regulatory measures, labeling, and market-pull incentives as well as efforts around communication and harmonization with other countries.  For example, a government may choose to establish energy regulations that prohibit the sale of inefficient lighting technologies, favoring adoption of high efficiency, good quality and cost effective alternatives. Or, a government could also engage in labeling activities that help ensure that the energy costs and lighting efficacy are visible to the market at both the product and the system level.

In 2009, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) initiated the Global Market Transformation for Efficient Lighting Project, known as the en.lighten initiative – Efficient Lighting for Emerging and Developing Countries. One of the key goals of the en.lighten project is to try and facilitate the harmonization of lighting standards at a global level. In order to do this effectively, it is imperative to have a detailed understanding of the best regulatory practices in the lighting sector and a robust assessment of the current state-of-the-art in energy-efficient lighting technologies, both on- and off-grid.

The objective of this report is to assess the test procedures and minimum energy performance standards (MEPS) for compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) and light emitting diode (LED) lamps across multiple regions including: Africa, Asia-Pacific, China, Europe, India, Latin America, the Middle East and North America. Based on the test procedures and MEPS reviewed, this report:

  • Identifies similarities and gaps between the various regions and economies;
  • Describes some key market trends in energy-efficient lighting;
  • Examines the potential opportunities, benefits and barriers to the alignment of multiple regions/economies to a single, global test procedure and MEPS;
  • Provides recommendations on steps that could further progress toward alignment to a single, global test procedure and common specifications for MEPS where possible; and
  • Identifies potential steps toward market transformation initiatives that encourage rapid market uptake of new energy-efficient lighting technologies.

Objective of This Review

This report compiles test procedures and minimum energy performance standards (MEPS) for CFLs and LEDs in Africa, Asia-Pacific, China, Europe, India, Latin America, the Middle East and North America. Based on the data collected, the report presents an assessment of the test procedures and MEPS globally, and identifies key gaps and similarities between them.

This report also examines the opportunities for the alignment of various economies to one global test procedure and corresponding MEPS for CFLs and LEDs.  It provides recommendations on possible steps for policymakers and the en.lighten project to undertake that will encourage and accelerate the global uptake of energy-efficient lighting technologies.

Authors: Steven Zeng and Jayond Li; CLASP.


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