International Database of Efficient Appliances (IDEA)

IDEA is an initiative of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL), which builds on research conducted to support the Super-Efficient Appliance Deployment (SEAD) initiative and the U.S. Appliance Standards Program. IDEA collects and combines the extensive publicly available appliance data from Internet sources from across the globe to create a comprehensive source of data on energy efficiency in the global appliance market.

IDEA data can provide a clear picture of the place of energy efficiency in appliance markets, especially in developing countries, where access to this information is most needed. The data, coupled with supporting analysis by LBNL and other researchers, provides energy efficiency policymakers with the ability to enable, scale up and strengthen the world’s most historically effective area of energy efficiency policy just as developing countries will make commitments to reduce emissions, providing a new driver of success.

How Does IDEA Work?

IDEA capitalizes on the availability of appliance data from Internet retailer websites and government/NGO efficiency databases. Its objective is to put this rich source of information to work for appliance efficiency policymakers, program developers and the international organizations that support them. IDEA establishes a standardized data format for retail appliance data, aggregates and correlates data from multiple sources, and creates a searchable database for data retrieval.  Retail data is rich on product price and feature information but not always on efficiency.  Therefore, IDEA employs a unique set of algorithms to match manufacturer model numbers to government efficiency databases for a more complete picture of energy efficiency and its relation to price and product features.

What Can IDEA Do?

IDEA will provide detailed datasets at a fraction of the cost of current sources.  Applications include:

  • Baseline Determination – measurement of pre-program market efficiency distribution
  • International Benchmarking – comparison of local market to regional markets and major economy markets
  • Market Tracking – observation of evolution of market following program implementation
  • Efficiency Indicators – contribution to roll-up to macro-level national efficiency metrics
  • Efficiency–Price Relationship – determination of cost of high efficiency products, pre- and post- program


Example Applications of IDEA


Market Benchmarking and Comparison

By gathering data from diverse markets into a single unified database, IDEA enables detailed, comparison of energy efficiency performance in different markets, both instantaneously and over time. Snapshot comparisons can show differences in policy impacts and reveal opportunities for rapid improvement by leveraging super-efficient technologies that may be available in other markets.

Data can also be refreshed regularly, allowing relative progress on efficiency to be tracked in different markets, and providing timely feedback to policymakers on the impact of standards and labeling programs, or other market transformation initiatives. By tracking simultaneous progress in related markets, IDEA enables the study of potential cross-market impacts of efficiency policy, such as technological spillover between markets. 

The Global Advanced Cooling Database

IDEA is powering the Global Advanced Cooling (AC) Database, which is the first activity of the Clean Energy Ministerial’s AC Challenge. Launched in June, 2016, the Challenge urges governments, companies and other stakeholders to develop and deploy super-efficient, climate-friendly space-cooling technologies.

The Global AC database provides Challenge participants with interactive data tools that show the composition of air conditioning markets at global and country levels. It enables market baseline studies, cross-market benchmarking, market tracking and climate-friendly procurement. These tools will give decision makers the tools they need to effectively target and tailor their deployment efforts as part of the Challenge, and to track their success.

Relative fraction of mini-split air conditioners with efficiency > 3.5 W/W in participating nations