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Energy efficient home appliances are a fast track to net-zero

Latest News 13 Jun 2023

“Ramping up energy efficiency is the most simple and obvious answer to achieve net-zero and limit global warming,” said APPLiA President and Arcelik CEO Hakan Bulgurlu addressing General Assembly representatives at the yearly industry gathering last week in Istanbul. With continuing increase in emissions, chances of complying with the set 1.5 °C threshold become more and more slim. New IEA analysis shows that to keep the target within reach and achieve net zero by 2050, the world needs to double progress on efficiency and triple renewable power capacity by 2030. One of Europe’s largest manufacturing industries, home appliances have a role to play. 

Lowering energy demand is key to lowering emissions. “More efficient and lower energy demand supports faster progress towards universal access to modern and affordable energy in emerging and developing economies,” said Bulgurlu. Consumers today are becoming more aware of the impact of their actions on the environment. With global warming, demand for appliances is increasing everyday. Heat pump sales increased by nearly 40% in Europe, in 2022. By 2050, it is predicted there will be 14 billion cooling appliances, globally. It is still unclear how to cope with such energy demand. 

Europe’s latest geopolitical tensions and experience with the energy crisis, make clear that energy efficient options contribute to reducing costs and reliance on fossil fuel sources, playing a central role in Brussel’s decarbonisation plans. Since 1992, the introduction of the energy label has helped mitigate soaring energy consumption levels, driving consumers towards the most sustainable choice - for the environment and the wallet. “The overall effect of energy efficiency in the world could offset almost entirely the growth in appliance ownership and penetration,” explained APPLiA Director General Paolo Falcioni. Over the past 20 years, the energy consumption of home appliances has dropped by 50%. On average, a fridge today consumes 1/4 of previous energy levels. Great advances were also made in water consumption patterns. A dishwasher uses 1/10 of the water needed to wash tableware by hand. These are only two examples highlighting the potential for home appliances to truly reshape the way we view sustainability today.

Alongside environmental benefits, ramping up annual energy efficiency progress would also create jobs, expand energy access, reduce energy bills, and diminish countries’ reliance on fossil fuel imports, among other social and economic benefits. 

Policy has a critical role to play in whether or not Europe delivers on energy efficiency in a timely fashion. On the occasion of the IEA 8th Annual Global Conference on Energy Efficiency, ministers from 45 governments across the world pledged their allegiance to the planet once more as they set targets to double the energy efficiency improvement to meet the climate change target of 1.5 degrees. This is a crucial action that will determine how the global energy sector reacts to climate change. A fair energy transition, underpinned by energy efficiency, and enabled by digitalisation and electrification, can drive decarbonization while also addressing the energy crisis, reducing costs and increasing security of supply. 

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