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Energy efficiency: energy efficiency requirements for ballasts for fluorescent lighting



The purpose of the directive is to achieve cost-effective energy savings in fluorescent lighting, which would not otherwise be achieved with other measures. This directive covers only newly produced ballasts, which are responsible for high energy consumption and offer considerable potential for energy savings.


European Parliament and Council Directive 2000/55/EC of the 18 September 2000, on energy efficiency requirements for ballasts for fluorescent lighting [Official Journal L 279 of 01.11.2000].



Improving energy efficiency meets the three goals of energy policy, i.e. security of supply (reducing dependence), competitiveness (consolidating competitive position) and protection of the environment (notably, by reducing carbon dioxide emissions). Energy efficiency is also of particular interest for the internal market. The proposal will allow harmonisation at Community level to prevent potential barriers to trade.

Under the SAVE programme the Commission has investigated potential energy efficiency improvements in the lighting sector.

A study carried out for the European Commission concluded that production of performance standards for fluorescent lamp ballasts appears to be one of the most effective actions which the Community could take to reduce energy consumption for lighting in commercial buildings.

Since fluorescent lighting accounts for a significant share of electricity consumption in the Community, and the various models of ballasts for fluorescent lighting available on the Community market show very different consumption levels, i.e. extremely variable energy efficiency, the directive proposes harmonisation of ballasts, and hence, of their energy efficiency.

All fluorescent lamps contain ballasts. The amount of energy dissipated can be reduced considerably by using more efficient ballasts.

The measure proposed is expected to have a limited impact on the industry in view of the long transition period planned. However, it will have a considerable impact on electricity consumption and therefore CO2 emissions, as shown in the table set out below:

Total Community electricity consumption for fluorescent lighting (in TWh/year)

Without efficiency requirements105108111118
With efficiency requirements105107106106
CO2 emissions avoided through standards (Mtonnes/year)-0.52.56

Contents of the Directive

The Directive applies to electric mains-operated ballasts for fluorescent lighting, which are defined in the annexes.

The Member States must take all necessary measures to ensure that ballasts covered by the directive can be placed on the Community market, and put into service only if their power consumption is less than or equal to the maximum allowable power consumption value for their category, calculated in accordance with the procedures defined in the annex.

Manufacturers of ballast covered by the directive are responsible for ensuring that each ballast placed on the market complies with the power consumption requirements laid down in the directive.

When ballasts are placed on the market they must bear the CE or ec marking

Framework Directive 2005/32/EC

Framework Directive 2005/32/EC on the setting of ecodesign requirements amends Directive 96/57/EC. The latter now falls under the Framework Directive, of which it has become an implementing measure. The Framework Directive applies to all energy-consuming appliances except vehicles.


ActEntry into forceDeadline for transposition in the Member States
Directive 2000/55/EC21.11.200021.11.2001
Directive 2005/32/EC06.08.200511.08.2007
Last updated: 29.11.2005
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