Is enough electricity being saved? Impact of energy efficiency policies addressing electrical household appliances in Germany until 2030
The transformation of the energy system is a key challenge society is facing in the next decades. For this to be successfully managed, it is essential that energy efficiency is improved quickly and that correspondingly ambitious policy measures are designed and implemented. In Germany, the decision to phase-out nuclear energy and to expand renewables in the near future has put the power sector under particular pressure. Electrical appliances in the residential sector have a high potential to reduce electricity demand. Ambitious minimum energy efficiency standards and energy labels are crucial to push the diffusion of new and more energy-efficient products. Furthermore, accompanying measures, e.g. investment subsidies, can help to save even more energy. In this paper, we will show the long-term impact of existing and future energy efficiency policies by conducting a technology-based analysis of policy measures addressing electrical household appliances in Germany until the year 2030. A bottom-up simulation model is applied which covers large electricity and information and communication technologies (ICT), lighting, air-conditioning and small electrical appliances. The high level of disaggregation in the analysis makes it possible to consider also rebound effects such as preferences for larger screen sizes of monitors or technological trends such as the enforced phase-out of incandescent bulbs. The model is calibrated based on empirical data and designed as a vintage stock model. Three explorative scenarios are analyzed which differ regarding the ambitiousness as well as the type of policy measures utilized. Results show that the current policies can lead to a reduction in electricity consumption of approximately 25.3 TWh by 2030 compared to the level of 2010 (107.3 TWh). We will show that an ambitious design of policy measures should be able to reduce the overall electricity consumption of certain appliances by up to 50 % by 2030.