Energy efficient products (EU)

In the European Union, many everyday products such as washing machines, refrigerators, domestic boilers and cooking appliances carry energy labels and are designed to meet minimum energy efficiency standards.

Energy labels help consumers choose energy efficient products. Hitherto, the labelling requirements for individual product groups have been created under the EU’s Energy Labelling Directive, a process managed by the European Commission. Products had been labelled on a scale of A+++ (most efficient) to G (least efficient).

In July 2017, a new Energy Labelling Regulation was published that will gradually replace the Directive. In the future, products will be labelled using a simpler A to G scale, as the development of more energy efficient products means that the lowest categories in the previous scale are no longer needed. Consumers will also have access to a database of product labels and information sheets, and defeat devices, which alter a product’s performance under test conditions, will be banned.

The new Energy Labelling Regulation is here. It is in force from 1st August 2017. As a European Regulation it is directly applicable in all member States, without necessary enactment of local law. 

Companies can create their own labels for energy efficiency using a range of labelling tools.

Ecodesign regulations require manufacturers to decrease the energy consumption of their products by establishing minimum energy efficiency standards. By setting these standards at European level, manufacturers do not have to navigate through multiple national regulations when launching their products on the market.

The ecodesign requirements for individual product groups are created under the EU’s Ecodesign Directive, process also managed by the European Commission. As an alternative, industry sectors may sign voluntary agreements to reduce the energy consumption of their products. The Commission formally recognises such agreements and monitors their implementation.
The (recast) European Directive (dating 2009) is here

It is in the UK news that energy inefficient and noisy vacuum cleaners are banned from today (1st Sept 2017), this is the date set out by the vacuum cleaner specific European Regulation made under the EU’s Ecodesign Directive. The European Regulations issued for products covered by the Ecodesign Directive are located from this link

The European ENERGY STAR Programme is a voluntary energy labelling scheme for office equipment. With the ENERGY STAR logo, consumers can easily identify energy efficient products. It covers office equipment including computers, servers, displays, imaging equipment and UPSs.

ENERGY STAR was started by the US Environment Protection Agency in 1992. The EU agreed to take part in 2001 to include office equipment not carrying an EU energy efficiency label.

Under EU law (Article 6 and Annex III (c) of Directive 2012/27/EU), central governments and EU institutions must purchase office equipment with energy efficiency levels at least equivalent to ENERGY STAR.

Copenhagen’s Energy Efficiency Hub and Climate Technology Centre (UNEP)

A new energy efficiency hub opened in Copenhagen, Denmark on 24th Oct, under the umbrella of the UN Secretary-General’s Sustainable Energy for All (SE4ALL) initiative. The hub (the EE Hub) aims to serve as a centre of global efforts to double energy efficiency by 2013.

The EE Hub will have a special focus on supporting developing countries in achieving their ambitions in the area of EE. Important lessons and experiences will be drawn from both developed countries and successful programmes in developing countries, which together will provide important examples and best practice approaches with potential to be transferred and adapted to other developing countries. The EE Hub will reach out and partner with relevant institutions and coordinate closely with the SE4ALL Global Facilitation Team and the other regional and thematic Hubs. The EE Hub will be hosted in the UN City in Copenhagen, and is institutionally, a programme under the Danish UNEP Risø Centre – DTU.

The Sustainable Energy for All (SE4ALL) initiative is a global multi-stakeholder partnership between governments, the private sector, and civil society launched in 2011 with three ambitious interlinked objectives to be achieved by 2030: ensure universal access to modern energy services, double the global rate of improvement in energy efficiency, and double the share of renewable energy in the global energy mix.

Copenhagen is also the home of the UNFCCC Climate Technology Centre.