Should the Government Green your Refrigerator?

The Öko-Institut (Eco-institute) reports that it would cost only 43 euros (57 US dollars) per ton of CO2 emissions saved if the government would pitch in to encourage Germans to replace refrigerators more than ten years old with the newest high efficiency appliances. The Öko-Institut proposes that a subsidy of €150 per purchase of a new high-efficiency appliance would reduce emissions by two main effects: better replacement and early replacement. Consumers will decide for the more efficient refrigerator over cheaper but less efficient models. And they will move to replace their older power-pigs more quickly.

The study was commissioned by the industry association for producers of electrical and electronic equipment, so naturally we cast a suspicious eye on it. To the credit of the independent researchers, the study does include factors like the excess emissions which would be created by production of new appliances for the early replacement of still-functioning older models. A factor of 4/15 was applied to the emissions from manufacturing a new fridge, to reflect the average of 4 years of unused lifespan in the early replacement devices.The study presents calculations of the economic balance of a subsidy program, taking into account external costs for power production, potential loss of tax income due to reduces added value tax on power and other factors. By these calculations, the program would create 127 million euros of additional costs, but would return benefits to society with a value of 628 million euros. The methods and data from this study should certainly be taken under review as governments try to find the best ways to apply limited resources to achieve results in the battle to reduce global warming.

To see the complete study report (in German), click (pdf)

Via ya href=""> (German)
Image via ::vandykes

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