Market Transformation Programme
Policy measure

The Market Transformation Programme in China was a pilot project between the UK and Chinese government, carried out in 2006-2007. The aim of the project was to demonstrate how a market transformation approach could be applied to product policy in China (ukchinamtp, 2011). Thereby the project aimed to harmonize and converge product performance specifications at a global level, fostering the development of efficient products at a lower cost. For this purpose, it “assessed the impact of energy consumption in China for eight types of domestic energy using products, examined existing product policies, and proposed potential future policy actions” (ukchinamtp, 2011).

The project was co-funded by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) and the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) (ukchinamtp, 2011). Moreover, the project was mandated by China's National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) and partners with two Chinese government organizations: the China National Institute of Standardization (CNIS), responsible for setting minimum standards and initiating the development of test methodologies, and the China Standard Certification Center (CECP) which develops, manages and enforces product certification (IEA, 2011).

According to the IEA (2011), the project will enable the Chinese government to develop a more informed approach to product policy. As market transformation strategies seek to achieve significant and lasting improvements in the efficiency of electrical products, “the Chinese government has the ability to influence the largest manufacturing base in the world. This offers an opportunity to reduce the energy consumption and hence the carbon savings of electrical goods that are exported worldwide” (IEA, 2011).


The Market Transformation Programme focuses on the efficiency of appliances, including domestic set-top boxes, compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs), refrigerators, colour TVs, rice cookers, washing machines, microwave ovens and room air conditioners (IEA, 2011). A team of UK and Chinese researchers developed models “that demonstrated the increase in future energy demand that would occur for eight products if China does not implement effective product policies. Policy brief documents were prepared for each product indicating the types of policy measure that could be introduced to mitigate increasing energy demand. A gap analysis was also successfully undertaken that provides recommendations for a larger market transformation programme in China and future work priorities.” (MTP, n.d.).

According to the IEA (2011), the following activities have been initiated:

  • “Research: Based on currently available information sources, the project develops end-use stock models of consumption, to enable scenarios to be run, and to prepare prioritized and cost policy action plans to reduce the energy consumption of products in China.

  • Workshop: Interim results are presented at a workshop involving relevant Chinese and UK organizations. The project team reviews the draft policy action plans in light of feedback obtained at the workshop.

  • Gap analysis: A review of current gaps and the identification of necessary activities to improve the knowledge base informs the development of schedule of product policy related activities at government and implementing agency level.

  • Capacity building: A training workshop for technical staff provides the opportunity to develop skills in applying the market transformation approach. A UK study tour for senior government official offers firsthand experience of how the market transformation approach is applied in the UK. CNIS and CECP staff will work directly with MTP in the UK on the development of product scenarios and action plans for China.

  • Road map: The road map will summarize the results of this project and makes recommendations for a market transformation program in China.”

No identified challenges.

According to the MTP (n.d.), “all eight products consumed around 316 TWh of electricity in 2005. Importantly, this is expected to increase to 769 TWh/year by 2020 – that is nearly equivalent to the industrial electricity consumption in 2001. It is estimated that, if all of the proposed policies measured were tbe implemented, a saving of 114 TWh/year would be achieved in 2020. At the same time, there is potential to reduce future consumption levels by 132 TWh/year by using the most efficient products.”

IEA (International Energy Agency), 2011. Market Transformation Programme – Partnership with the UK. Available at:

MTP (Market Transformation Programme), n.d. Market Transformation Programme in China. Available at:

ukchinaamtp, 2011. UK-China Market Tranformation Programme. Available at: