Popular climate, energy consumer guide goes global
Topten is an international alliance of organizations, including WWF, which offers localized, consumer-oriented online search tools for energy efficient products. Topten’s goal is to address climate change and energy consumption by driving demand and encouraging innovation for super-efficient products in common categories from appliances to electronics—potentially, any product with a switch or a motor.
Including its existing affiliates in 16 European countries, the areas now covered by Topten organizations account for roughly 40 percent of the planet’s greenhouse gas emissions.
“If hundreds of millions of consumers worldwide make smart choices for the most efficient products, they will not only save money from increased energy bills, they will also substantially cut global warming and other pollution,” said Dr. Stephan Singer, Director, Global Energy Policy for WWF. “Energy conservation alone is the largest source of all thinkable actions to curb CO2 emissions by more than one third in the next few decades.”
Energy-efficient products offer one of the quickest, least painful routes to significant greenhouse gas reductions. The most efficient products in common consumer categories such as refrigerators and televisions use up to 50 percent less energy than the category average. Even a modest consumer shift—10 percent of current sales—to the most energy efficient products could have a considerable impact on climate change by eliminating the release 100 million metric tons of carbon-equivalent gases each year.
And there’s no reason to assume that 10 percent is all a given market will tolerate. The Swiss market, for example, has already demonstrated the success of the Topten model, as the sales of highly-efficient heat-pump clothes dryers, first identified as super-efficient by Topten in 2000, have gone from less than 3 percent of the Swiss market in 2004 to more than 25 percent of the market today.
Each Topten organization helps consumers save energy and money by identifying, ranking, and publicizing the 10 most energy-efficient products available in a wide range of product categories.
“We are excited not only to be helping U.S. consumers, but also to be part of an international consumer movement toward energy efficiency,” said Norman L. Dean, President of the non-profit Topten USA.
Topten USA has already formed alliances with utilities, retailers, and additional NGOs including WWF, and the Natural Resources Defence Council. In ranking the 10 most energy-efficient products in a given category, Topten USA offers a valuable new approach to consumers who have long looked to the Energy Star program for efficient products.
“Energy Star has been a huge success,” says Dean. “But its approach sets baselines, and any product that clears the minimum gets the designation. Topten doesn’t suggest a baseline; we provide a real-time list of the very best. Often the products on a Topten list are 20-40 percent more efficient than a model that just meets the baseline. American consumers can achieve very real cost and energy savings by purchasing the most efficient products.”
In China, encouraged by increasingly favourable policies and growing market demand, major Chinese manufactures are now developing a wide range of low cost smart energy goods.
“The Chinese market is booming and many consumers are buying their first ever car or upgrading their household electronic appliances. “As an online portal for best energy-saving products, Topten has the potential to reach millions of Internet users in China and help them make the best choice for consumer products,” ” says Dr Li Lin, Deputy Country Representative of WWF China.
Topten organizations offer their product rankings on the Web. Each site offers simple, current, independently researched lists of the “best of the best” products available in that country.
More about Topten
Each Topten organization helps consumers save energy and money by identifying, ranking, and publicizing the ten most energy-efficient products available in a wide range of product categories.
Founded by the Swiss Agency for Energy Efficiency and WWF, Topten’s logic is simple. By naming the ten most efficient products in each category, the organizations make it easy for consumers to cut through the clutter of products on the market. And growing demand and publicity for efficient products in turn spurs manufacturers to innovate, accelerating the introduction of next-generation efficiency.
Supported by an international alliance of independent organizations, Topten was launched in 2000 in Switzerland. Since then, 15 other national Topten sites have been established thanks to the European IEE-projects Euro-Topten (Intelligent Energy Europe). Each Topten website provides a selection of best appliances from the energy point of view. Topten works as an open platform: new countries can join any time. More information can be found on www.topten.info.
The product selection and ranking on the Topten website is up to date and based on independent research. Topten is impartial and transparent. And it helps people save energy and money at the same time.
Topten member organizations rank the most energy efficient products currently available in their countries and offer the information free through Topten websites and other communications outlets. Topten helps consumers, businesses, and governments to make smart, climate-friendly choices.
In the U.S.A., go to www.toptenusa.org ((live at 17:00 US EST Oct. 26)
In China, www.top10china.cn
In Europe, www.topten.info