Driving progress in energy efficiency by closing gaps

APPLiA was invited to join the debate Energy Efficiency: An ace up the sleeve for Energy Transitions organised by the IEA in cooperation with the Chilean Minister of Chile and share the experience of a sector that delivers energy efficiency on the ground.

“Chile has embraced the challenge of achieving carbon-neutrality by 2050. Energy Efficiency is the pillar of our approach.” kicked off Juan Carlos Jobet, Energy Minister of Chile, in his opening speech during the online event organised by the same Ministry in cooperation with the International Energy Agency (IEA) on energy efficiency potential. Chile is currently working on a bill of law on energy efficiency with a multi-sectoral focus and has already in place an energy label for 28 products that will be covering up to the 80% of housing consumption by the end of the year. Energy efficiency is a source of jobs creation, only adding to the many other benefits it brings to society by tackling climate change, air pollution and being an engine for economic competitiveness, among others.

“Energy efficiency is the first fuel” commented Fatih Birol, IEA Executive Director, “because all the countries in the world have energy efficiency potential”. “We can now count on more statistics, more best practices to share and more time we dedicate in implementation to deliver real-world results” continued his colleague and IEA Deputy Executive Director, Dave Turk.

During the following intervention, Brian Motherway, IEA Head of the Energy Efficiency, shared a reflection on how our use of electricity at home has changed in the last months and on how the fall in carbon emissions registered this year has been for the wrong reasons, but still can give us a lesson on where to go from here. “We have to align short and long term goals and, by doing so, we can unlock tremendous efficiency gains” he added.

APPLiA, representing the home appliance industry, was invited to join the debate and share the experience of a sector that delivers energy efficiency on the ground. “There is a push-pull mechanism to deploy energy efficiency” started explaining Paolo Falcioni, APPLiA’s Director General, “that involves the leverages in place to help consumers choose the efficient appliances they want on the one hand and the policy legislation that ensures that only good enough appliances are placed on the market - the so-called Ecodesign - on the other”. Currently, Chile registers a penetration rate of dishwashers equal to around 5%, thus leaving a 95% of households uncovered. This number has a meaning in terms of energy efficient untapped potential. If penetration was 100% in fact, the country could save each year the amount of water contained in 65 thousands olympic swimming pools and the energy savings would be in the range of the 1.53% of Chilean energy use. “This is how much it could be saved up, only by driving the penetration of a single product in a country.” Paolo Falcioni wrapped up after having shared the dishwasher example. New ways of using appliances, such as products-as-services programmes, rather than incentives to purchases and subsidies, make up a full package of measures that are complementary to policy that sets reasonable objectives and industry that delivers efficiency on the ground.

Energy efficiency is at the centre, agreed the representatives of the World Green Building Council, Cristina Gamboa, and EFIEES President Pascal Guillame, both organisations very involved in fostering sustainability through better quality infrastructures. “We have to focus on implementing energy and user management” highlighted Pascal Guillame “which can bring up to 30% energy savings and avoid that performances are eroded in the long term”. The citizens are at the core of any energy efficiency plan, as it is during energy consumption that the biggest share of energy is used. “90% of people want to change their behaviour to reduce their impact on the environment” reported Karol Gobczyński from Ingka Group (IKEA), bringing the company’s view in the discussion, “and we offer solutions: our products” he added by giving some examples of energy-savvy technologies that are part of IKEA’s portfolio.

Energy efficiency works if its benefits are enjoyed by the entire society. For the same reason, it is what we could define a “societal project”.