Japan’s Top Runner Programme, introduced in 1999, is a set of energy efficiency standards for energy intensive products, such as home appliances and motor vehicles. As of 2014, the programme involved 23 product categories. Products are included due to either their high energy or widespread use or their substantial scope for improving energy efficiency. Energy efficiency targets are set to be achieved within a given number of years on the basis of the most efficient model on the market (the ‘Top Runner’).
Products which do meet the energy efficiency standard receive a Top Runner label at the point of sale; those which do not are labelled differently. This drives companies to try to make ever more efficient models to compete for the award of Japan’s ‘Top Runner’. Read more