The International Database of Efficient Appliances (IDEA): A new tool to support appliance energy-efficiency deployment
Appliance energy-efficiency programs are a central component of many countries’ energy-policy portfolios. A major barrier to optimal implementation of these programs is lack of data to determine market baselines, assess the potential for cost-effective energy savings, and track markets over time to evaluate and verify program impacts. To address this gap, we have developed the International Database of Efficient Appliances (IDEA), a suite of software tools that automatically gathers data that is currently dispersed across various online sources and compiles it into a unified repository of information on efficiency, price, and features for a diversity of appliances and devices in markets around the world. In this article we describe the framework and functionality of IDEA, and we demonstrate its power as a resource for research and policy development related to appliance energy efficiency. Using IDEA data for refrigerators in China and India, we assess the potential for cost-effective energy savings within each market by computing robust indicators that can also be easily compared across different appliances and markets. We find that significant cost-effective savings are available on both markets. We discuss implications for the development of future energy-efficiency deployment programs.