28.3 EcoTopTen scenarios for sustainable consumption – reduction potentials due to the use of energy efficient products

Dietlinde Quack , Sustainable Products & Material Flows, Öko-Institut e.V. / Institute for Applied Ecology, Freiburg, Germany

In march 2005 the EcoTopTen campaign started with the aim to regulary deliver market surveys of the most energy efficient products for private households in Germany, including product groups like e.g. heatings, cars, household appliances, computers and TV sets. Since then market surveys for 25 product groups were published and updated regularly. 

In the herewith presented study it was analysed what reduction of greenhouse gases, primary energy demand and costs households can achieve by EcoTopTen, respectively by the use of the energy efficient EcoTopTen products in different product fields relevant for private households.  

In order to calculate the reduction potential five household types were defined: (1) the average household using average products; (2) the efficient household, using EcoTopTen products except for food and textiles; (3) the double efficient household, the same as (3) but using all products in an efficient way; (4) climate efficient household, the same as (3) but using smaller products (smaller car, TV set etc.); (5) the same as (4) but additionally using EcoTopTen food and textiles.

The results show that an average household with two persons is able to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by up to 73 percent or 9,5 tons CO2 equivalents per year only by using EcoTopTen products (efficient household). An additional 4 percent greenhouse gas emissions can be saved by changing behaviour (double efficient household). Fortunately the reductions come along with cost savings of up to 980 Euro respectively 1290 Euro per year and household.

Basing on existing surveys on environmental consciousness and environmental friendly behaviour of the German population two scenarios were developed furtheron. These scenarios show the possible future distribution of household types (1) to (5) as described above and the consequences concerning the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. Extrapolated to all 39 million households in Germany a reduction of between 10 and 15 percent greenhouse gas emissions can be achieved. Given that still between 60 percent (scenario 1) and 41 percent (scenario 2) of households stay in the category average households and do not use energy efficient products a huge reduction potential still waits to be realised.