European Commission Adopts Sweeping “EcoDesign” Policy Package
On October 1st, the European Commission adopted new regulations that are expected to dramatically reduce European electricity consumption by 167 TWh per year by 2030, or 5% of the region’s total residential electricity use. The policies increase the energy efficiency of lighting products, common appliances and industrial equipment, and require easy product reparability and recyclability in accordance with the EU’s Circular Economy Strategy.
The new regulations were finalized as a package of 10 implementing measures under the EU’s Ecodesign Directive, which promotes energy-efficient, better-quality appliances and equipment across the European market. Together with new energy labelling requirements adopted in March, the sweeping package of regulations is expected to avoid 46 MtCO₂ in 2030 and save each European household an average €150 (US$165) per year on their energy bills.
“We are happy that these ecodesign measures finally are in place. The regulated products may not consume a lot of energy per unit, but the estimated annual final energy savings by 2030 are equal to Denmark’s final energy use. This is a triumph for sound and carefully crafted mandatory performance regulations, rather than just relying on market forces and price signals,” said Nils Borg, Executive Director of the European Council for an Energy Efficient Economy (eceee). “In addition, the EU legislation is likely to have an impact on regulation in other regions of the world.”
CLASP supported policymakers by providing market data and international best practices, as well as testing and rigorous analysis on the costs and benefits associated with various levels of policy ambition for lighting, televisions, computer monitors, commercial signage, residential and commercial refrigerators, and transformers. Europe team members Marie Baton and Michael Scholand supported the development and revision of nine ecodesign and energy labelling policy measures that represent 140 TWh of the annual savings in 2030.
Christine Egan, CEO of CLASP, said “CLASP Europe has supported the Commission since 2009. We are elated that on the tenth anniversary of our engagement in Brussels, such a ground-breaking package of policy measures was adopted.” She went on, “we look forward to continuing our engagement in Europe with the incoming Commission and many new and exciting opportunities on the horizon.”
Climate and energy advocates welcomed news that the regulations, which have been under development for the past five years, were formally adopted before EC President Jean-Claude Juncker leaves office at the end of this month.
Miguel Arias Cañete, European Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy said energy efficiency and ecodesign will play a growing role in Europe’s long-term decarbonization strategy. “Together with smarter energy labels, our eco-design measures can save European consumers a lot of money, as well as help the EU reduce its greenhouse gas emissions. Eco-design is therefore a key element in the fight against climate change and a direct contribution to meeting the goals set in the Paris Agreement,” he said.
Stephane Arditi of the European Environment Bureau stated: “The package reminds us how essential it is to set ambitious design requirements that unleash the potentials of the most efficient and innovative solutions and kick start the circular value chains that will allow cost-effective material cycles. All of these benefits can only be fulfilled thanks to the unique cooperation between the EU and national public authorities, civil society (consumers and NGOs), technical supporting partners such as CLASP and progressive industry voices whose reinforcement would clearly be welcome.”