Launch of energy efficiency label in Russia

By Richard Wallis

Raising the visibility of energy efficient goods is a crucial step towards their success on the market. Building on the experience in many countries around the world, where endorsement labels have proven extremely effective, the EBRD and the Association of European Businesses (AEB) are today launching Russia’s first voluntary energy efficient endorsement label.

The new label offers consumers the opportunity to make a conscious decision about their purchases by providing information on the energy efficiency of designated goods. Only the most energy efficient equipment models will be granted the label. Strict standards will give consumers confidence that the designation - which has been supported by the Government of Finland – will only be awarded where all criteria are fulfilled.

At the same time, the scheme will provide an incentive to producers, as the recognition associated with the label is expected to stimulate further efforts and investments in the production of energy efficient goods. Experience demonstrates a rising awareness of energy efficiency considerations in consumers’ choices. Products that have been granted such green labels have seen their sales, and their market share of energy efficient products, increase.

The first equipment type to be covered by the label is stationary electric motors, a segment that is one of Russian industry’s largest energy users. This will be followed by labelling for other equipment types that are yet to be determined.

Lindsay Forbes, Director of Industry, Commerce and Agribusiness at the EBRD’s Moscow Resident Office, said at the launch: “This is a timely and welcome initiative, and we are grateful to the AEB for joining forces with us, and for the support we have received from the Government of Finland. The new label offers an important opportunity for Russia, since companies investing in modern energy efficient equipment can reduce their costs and improve their competiveness, with significant environmental benefits.”

Frank Schauff, AEB’s CEO, added: “We are proud to participate in this new development aimed at establishing a dedicated labelling scheme to promote energy efficient equipment on the Russian market, and to tap Russia’s full energy efficiency potential.”

The label has been developed in close cooperation with the EBRD’s Russian Sustainable Energy Efficiency Facility (RuSEFF) – a credit line facility to local financial institutions for financing energy efficiency projects in the industrial (including SMEs) and residential sectors – so that the increased consumer awareness generated by the labelling scheme is also linked to the financing needed to obtain such equipment. The facility is supported by the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety, the International Climate Initiative, and the EBRD Shareholder Special Fund.