Title: Voluntary Agreements for Energy Efficiency: Review and Results of European Experiences
Citation: Energy & Environment vol. 18 no. 1 p. 37-73
Publisher: Multi-Science Publishing Co Ltd
Publication Year: 2007
JRC N°: JRC35256
URI: http://publications.jrc.ec.europa.eu/repository/handle/JRC35256
Type: Articles in periodicals and books
Abstract: During the 1990s there was great attention and debate in the European Union (EU) and in OECD countries outside the EU on the use of voluntary agreements to attain environmental and sustainable energy policy goals. At the time there was a lot of theoretical analysis and discussions on this policy instrument and in particular on its effectiveness and cost efficiency. Before the debate was over, a number of important voluntary agreements to improve energy efficiency or reduce CO2 emissions were implemented in Europe both at national and European levels. These voluntary agreements cover end-use equipment and appliances (e.g. cars, electric motors, residential appliances, etc.), industrial processes, and industrial energy management policies and practices. The paper classifies and analyses the different types of voluntary agreements aiming at improving energy efficiency in Europe, and reviews voluntary agreements and other initiatives of similar nature (voluntary programmes, unilateral commitments, self-regulation) in industrial sectors in a number of Member States of the European Union. The paper also examines some successful European initiatives of voluntary nature, including unilateral agreements for improved energy efficiency of end-use equipment, such as the European agreement on energy consumption of washing machines, and the European agreement on power consumption in standby mode of televisions and video cassette recorders (VCRs). The paper concludes that, if set up under the right institutional framework (as presented and discussed in the paper), voluntary agreements can deliver energy savings in a flexible and cost effective manner and could represent an important instrument for improving energy efficiency and climate change mitigation, in addition and co-ordination with other important policy instruments.
JRC Directorate:Sustainable Resources

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