Evaluation of the pilot procurement project in Germany
Energy+ represents a European cooperative procurement initiative which aims at increasing the markte share of highly energy-efficient cold appliances. Three years after ist start, the porject was recently evaluatied in Germany. This paper discusses the main evaluation results and theirs implications for the projects's furterh development. It covers the impacts of Energy+ on technology development and the commercial importance of the targeted appliances. Due to the project's relatively recent start, however, the main focus of the evaluation lies on the procurement process and prcatical implementation elements. Of particular interest are the specificities of the considereed market segment which, in Germany and also in other participation countries, is characterised a highly dispersed consumers and the lack of large instititiuonal buyers as condidates for a buyer group. The project therfore developed a new aproach emphasising the role of retail organisations and of marketing activieties by the project coordinators. The evaluation diesusses several challenges ralted to this approach. This includes issues concerning the interfaces between international producers, their national branch offices and retilers as well as conflicts between the markteing approaches of produccers and retailers, in particular with respect to the use of brand names and trade marks. Further, in Energy+ the communication between users and producers, an essential innovative element of cooperative procurement, cannot take its ususal role, since consumers are not directly involved in the process. The papaer show how the project has dealt with these challenges and provides recommendations for the future project design.