The CONSEED project

Do European consumers pay attention to energy labels when they buy an electric appliance, a car or a house? 

What information are they looking for?

How important is energy consumption in their decisions?  

CONSEED will run surveys, field experiments and discrete choice experiments to understand the wide range of factors that influence consumers when they buy electric appliances, cars or buildings.
 
Our research covers various consumer groups, including households and professional consumers from the services, agricultural and industrial sectors. The comprehensive database of empirical data will enable us to examine how different consumer groups interact with existing energy efficiency labels and certificates, and identify areas where policies can be improved.
  

This is what the CONSEED research project aims to find out through surveys and field trials among households and various economic sectors across Europe.
  
The EU has as a goal to reduce joint energy consumption by at least 27% by 2030. It has introduced energy efficiency labels or energy performance certificates  for electric appliances, cars and buildings. These help consumers choosing the most energy efficient products.
 
According to the Commission’s calculations, European consumers can save about €100 billion annually – about €465 per household – on their energy bills by 2020 if they buy more efficient appliances. However, consumers do not always buy the products that would give them the largest energy savings over time. CONSEED wants to understand what explains this “energy efficiency gap”.
  


CONSEED will examine the importance of energy consumption for consumers in five European countries: Greece, Ireland, Norway, Slovenia and Spain.
    

Energy Labels
What if energy costs were given in euros?
Researchers will also examine whether consumers would buy energy-saving products if the energy labels carried information about the energy usage cost expressed in euros instead of kWh.

Earlier tests in Norway and Ireland have shown that the average energy consumption of tumble dryers sold went down by up to 5%, when consumers got information on how much money they could save on energy usage.

If tests show similar results across different countries and appliance groups, Europeans could achieve substantial additional energy savings and cuts in greenhouse gas emissions at relatively low cost.