European Commission Close to Delivering Energy Efficiency Standards
October 27, 2008 - It’s been over three years since the European Parliament issued its Directive 2005/32/EC, establishing a framework for the setting of “Ecodesign” requirements for Energy-using Products (EuPs). This program investigates the environmental impact of all stages of an EuP’s life cycle (from design to destruction) as well as the energy consumed in actual use. While earlier European efficiency programs were voluntary in nature (Code of Conducts and labeling programs), the Ecodesign Directive results in mandatory standards, and manufacturers and other stakeholders are following their product lot progress very closely. EuPs covered in the far-reaching Directive include the usual list of consumer electronic products as well as larger home appliances, domestic/office/street lighting, commercial refrigeration units and other higher power EuPs.
So, now that 2009 is only a couple of months away, how are things progressing?
Slow, but steady. Over one third of the nineteen product lots research studies have been completed. Four of these have had their proposals reviewed by the Consultants Forum and, after varying amounts of discussion and revision, have been approved and passed on to the Ecodesign Regulatory Committee where they were endorsed. They are now in review by the European Parliament, pending final approval.
Two of particular interest to manufacturers are Lot 6 (Standby and Off-mode Power Consumption) and Lot 7 (External Power Supply (EPS) efficiency). Lot 6 will establish a mandatory 1 W horizontal standby standard for EuPs sold in Europe with an ambitious 0.5 W level four years after the regulation comes into force. Lot 7 will harmonize Europe with the current US EISA 2007 EPS standard and two years later aligns with the tighter ENERGY STAR EPS version 2.0 specification.
Although it seems like it’s been a long gestation period, the EC is about ready to give birth to the first of its Ecodesign energy efficiency standards, with more to follow in the coming year.
For more information on all of the Ecodesign Directive lot studies, go to:
For a general description of the program, go to: