17 - The Role of Standards: The Japanese Top Runner Programme for End-Use Efficiency  pp. 231-243

The Role of Standards: The Japanese Top Runner Programme for End-Use Efficiency

By Osamu Kimura

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Author’s Summary

In 1998, Japan launched the Top Runner Programme to improve the energy efficiency of a range of end-use products. In this programme, the most energy-efficient product on the market during the standard-setting process defines the Top Runner Standard for all corresponding manufacturers and products. The Top Runner Programme started with nine products: room air conditioners, fluorescent lighting, television sets, copying machines, computers, magnetic disk units, video cassette recorders, refrigerators, and passenger and freight vehicles. The scope was reviewed every two to three years and by 2012 had gradually expanded to include twenty-three products. It is now considered one of the major pillars of Japanese climate policy. This case study examines twelve years of experience with the programme (from 1998 to 2010). It provides an overview of the structure of the Top Runner Programme, illustrates its impacts on efficiency and energy savings, discusses issues associated with the programme, and concludes with implications for efficiency programmes in other countries.

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