As governments seek to maximize energy savings from appliances and equipment through policies designed to stimulate higher energy efficiency levels, product test standards have a key role to play in ensuring accurate and repeatable test results and informative performance benchmarks. Governments recognize that the development of robust and uniform test methods by international standardization organisations is an important step towards reducing cost barriers for industry that may inhibit the trade of the most energy efficient products.
Internationally-accepted product definitions, test methods, efficiency metrics, and performance classes often make it easier and faster for national governments to implement effective energy efficiency policies. Further, when these national policies are based on international standards, manufacturers benefit as the costs of complying with disparate policies and certification requirements are reduced; consumers benefit from lower product costs and accelerated innovation; regulators benefit from enhanced transparency and clarity across economies and lower administrative costs, and economies benefit from reduced barriers to trade.
Following a workshop held in Tokyo in November 2012 involving 29 governments energy efficiency officials, the IEA, 4E and SEAD pledged to work together to develop more effective mechanisms for engaging with international standardisation organisations.
Since this date, these three organisations have pooled resources to work more closely with the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) and International Organization for Standardization (ISO).