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The new energy label is intended to record total electricity consumption in the household

Today, almost everyone knows the energy efficiency classes for individual electrical devices. The well-known energy labels have prevailed, especially for household appliances, and are now an important factor in purchasing decisions. However, they always only affect individual devices according to standardized criteria; the influence of the user and the entirety of the electrical devices in a house are not taken into account.

When it comes to houses, there is also a kind of energy label with the energy certificate, with two different procedures. On the one hand there is a standardized calculation method for the entire house, including the shell and technology, and on the other hand there is a consumption-dependent calculation, only with the values ​​actually consumed.

There are no numbers or ways of calculating the total amount of electrical power consumers in the household to be able to state the energy efficiency of the household. That would be almost more important than the information for a single device, considering the increasing number of electricity consumers in private households.

The new label is intended to make it easier to save electricity in private households

So-called electricity efficiency classes could help in the future to make the total electricity consumption transparent for private individuals in the household so that they can then take the right measures to save electricity. The new label is being developed in a research project led by the ISOE – Institute for Social-Ecological Research together with the Öko-Institut eV. The project is funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF).

Total electricity consumption in Germany is to be reduced by 25 percent by 2050 according to the goals of the federal government. Private electricity consumption plays an important role in this. Experience shows that tips on saving electricity alone do not help consumers: Private electricity consumption has stagnated at a high level for years.

“The large number of individual instructions is often far too confusing for consumers and does not lead to permanent changes in behavior in everyday life,” says ISOE energy expert Immanuel Stieß. “Our research shows that people often do not even know how much electricity they actually use and where they can meaningfully change their behavior.”

Electricity efficiency classes for households

The ISOE – Institute for Social-Ecological Research will therefore develop a new label in the research project “Electricity Efficiency Classes for Households” together with the Öko-Institut eV. The aim of the project is to make the total power consumption transparent and to classify it.

“The new consumption classes are formed on the basis of annual electricity consumption,” says Corinna Fischer from the Öko-Institut. “In contrast to existing energy classes, the power efficiency of individual devices is not classified, but for the first time the total power consumption of all technical devices in the household is summarized.”

This is intended to motivate consumers to achieve the best possible electricity efficiency class – for example by purchasing particularly energy-efficient devices in the future. In the long term, this should reduce the power consumption of German private households.

What are the individual steps? First, the research team determines the technical and usage-related power saving potential and classifies it. In a field test, one hundred selected households in southern Hesse and southern Baden are to be classified into electricity efficiency classes for the first time. In the course of the project, they are offered packages of measures that are specially tailored to their needs and possibilities.

“With offers specific to target groups, we can better motivate consumers to save electricity,” says project manager Stieß. “We want to ensure that saving electricity becomes a natural part of consumers’ everyday lives and not something that people have to rack their brains over every day.”

practice partner

The practice partners play an important role in the research project. Manufacturers of electronic devices and electricity providers are just as involved in the research process as consumer advocates, so that needs-based technical solutions, new business models and tailor-made advisory services can be developed.

The practical partners in the project are Bosch and Siemens Hausgeräte GmbH (BSH), Entega Privatkunden GmbH & Co. KG, Badenova AG & Co. KG and the Verbraucherzentrale NRW eV The project “Electricity efficiency classes for households. The development of power-saving innovations in household, market and device technology” is funded in the priority area of ​​social-ecological research by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF).

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