The International Database of Efficient Appliances (IDEA): A New Resource for Global Efficiency Policy:
A major barrier to effective appliance efficiency program design and evaluation is a lack of data for determination of market baselines and cost-effective energy savings potential. The data gap is particularly acute in developing countries, which may have the greatest savings potential per unit GDP. To address this need, we are developing the International Database of Efficient Appliances (IDEA), which automatically compiles data from a wide variety of online sources to create a unified repository of information on efficiency, price, and features for a wide range of energy-consuming products across global markets. This paper summarizes the database framework and demonstrates the power of IDEA as a resource for appliance efficiency research and policy development. Using IDEA data for refrigerators in China and India, we develop robust cost-effectiveness indicators that allow rapid determination of savings potential within each market, as well as comparison of that potential across markets and appliance types. We discuss implications for future energy efficiency policy development.