Design of incentive programs for accelerating penetration of energy-efficient appliances
Incentives are policy tools that sway purchase, retail stocking, and production decisions toward energy-efficient products. Incentives complement mandatory standards and labeling policies by accelerating market penetration of products that are more energy efficient than required by existing standards and by preparing the market for more stringent future mandatory requirements. Incentives can be directed at different points in the appliance׳s supply chain; one point may be more effective than another depending on the technology׳s maturity and market penetration. This paper seeks to inform future policy and program design by categorizing the main elements of incentive programs from around the world. We identify advantages and disadvantages of program designs through a qualitative overview of incentive programs worldwide. We find that financial incentive programs have greater impact when they target highly efficient technologies with a small market share, and that program designs depend on the market barriers addressed, the target equipment, and the local market context. No program design is inherently superior to another. The key to successful program design and implementation is a thorough understanding of the market and identification of the most important local obstacles to the penetration of energy-efficient technologies.