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Maximising Topten Communication on Top Runner Products (EURO-TOPTEN-MAX)

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Thousands of refrigerators, TVs, cars and other energy-consuming equipment are available on the market. Consumers cannot compare and chose judiciously: no information is available, there is no time, it is too difficult... With the Topten websites, consumers find the best products by a simple click. Topten websites provide a selection of the best appliances from an energy point of view. The information targets consumers, using photos, describing functions, availability, and listing prices. No complex calculations are involved. The sites are neutral in that there is no influence from manufacturers. They are rigorous and transparent: the selection methodology is explained online. The websites are promoted thanks to press relations and communication activities in order to generate a high traffic. This in turn gives strength to Topten’s dialogue with manufacturers at European level (a product competition was also organised to motivate industry), it allows to set ambitious criteria for product selection and to advise bulk buyers in the public procurement field, as well as policy makers, on efficient products. The project teams comprise energy specialists, environmental NGOs and consumer associations.More than 270 product categories are scanned in the 19 countries and presented on-line, broken down into more than 600 market segments reflecting consumers' preferences.

Results

  • 19 Topten websites – 2.11 visitors in 2014 – presenting best products in a variety of fields (home appliances, office equipment, cars, etc.), selected for their energy performance – including market-monitoring activities. New countries join any time the Topten movement.
  • A home page www.topten.eu acting as a portal and presenting the Best Products of Europe – the only review of the most energy efficient appliances in Europe.
  • Extensive communication and partnership activities targeting the general media, large-scale public and private buyers, utilities, NGOs and public authorities. 95 partnerships; 12 Topten PRO sections on-line targeting professional buyers; 7 partners working with retailers (more than 80 participating shops, including large on-line retail chains); more than 750 manufacturers’ representative regularly in contact with the Topten teams.
  • 126 press releases, 1 621 pieces of media coverage reported, thousands of leaflets distributed, several videos produced, more than 273 Mio media contacts.
  • A Topten product competition organised for the most efficient TV, tumble driers and LEDs, with an award ceremony in February 2014.
  • A working smoothly team for a project made of 21 partners, gathering energy specialists, environmental NGO and consumer associations.
  • EU portal www.topten.eu
  • In Austria www.topprodukte.at  
  • In Belgium www.topten.be
  • In Czech Republic www.uspornespotrebice.cz
  • In Finland www.topten-suomi.fi
  • In France www.guidetopten.fr
  • In Italy www.eurotopten.it 
  • In Poland www.topten.info.pl
  • In Switzerland www.topten.ch
  • In Germany www.ecotopten.de
  • In Portugal www.topten.pt  
  • In Spain www.topten.wwf.es
  • In Luxembourg www.oekotopten.lu
  • In Greece www.ecotopten.gr
  • In Romania www.topten.info.ro
  • In Norway www.besteprodukter.no
  • In Lithuania top-10.lt
  • In Sweden www.toptensverige.se
  • In Croatia www.top-ten.com.hr/
  • In the UK www.top10energyefficiency.org.uk/
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Lessons learned

  • Research about most efficient products is time consuming but it is necessary to obtain quality information (the 19 Topten teams are in contact with all brands' Product Managers at the national level to check product information and availability). Synergies exist for homogenous products at the European level, e.g. TVs, but for white goods, product identification and markets are still very national.
  • Transition phases when a new regulation, such as a new label, is introduced on the market generate questions: the Topten teams are ideally placed to provide answers to manufacturers and retailers at that time.
  • The Euro-Topten product competition can be considered as a success: it proved that manufacturers are very sensitive to any external support which stimulates them to develop new and especially energy efficient products - in this case, Euro-Topten Max proposed the institutional guarantee from the European Commission and the project partners and communication activities, which seemed to be enough even with limited communication activities.
  • Consumers do need impartial information on product energy performances. The next step is to provide them more information on where they can find and buy the most efficient products.
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Partners and coordinator

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Contact

French Environment and Energy Management Agency
France
Contact point: 
Name: 
Kreitz Therese
Tel: 
+33493957900

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Key documents

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In brief

Duration:
01/01/2012 to 31/12/2014
Contract number: 
IEE/10/317 - SI2.589422

Media coverage

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