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IP/06/1884

Brussels, 21 December 2006

EU and USA sign new Agreement on Energy Efficiency of Office Equipment

The EU and the USA have signed a new Agreement to continue the ENERGY STAR programme for office equipment for another five years. The Agreement features innovative and demanding energy efficiency criteria for computers, copiers, printers and computer monitors, and is expected to yield 30 TWh electricity savings – the approximate equivalent of the electricity demand in Hungary - in the EU over the next three years. ENERGY STAR is part of the Commission’s strategy to better manage energy demand, contribute to the security of energy supply and mitigate climate change.

I am very satisfied that we will continue to foster the energy efficiency of office equipment together with our American partners. This is in line with our commitment to reinforce international cooperation on the energy efficiency of goods traded worldwide. The new Agreement will ensure substantial energy savings, to the benefit of both consumers and the environment", remarked Energy Commissioner Andris Piebalgs.

The new Agreement was signed by the Finnish Presidency of the EU and the US Environmental Protection Agency in Washington yesterday. The initiative was welcomed by EU Member States as the programme also provides them with valuable data on the efficiency of office equipment, which they can subsequently utilise in their own public procurement initiatives.

Improving the energy performance of appliances is one of the top priorities of the Commission's recent Energy Efficiency Action Plan. The implementation of the Energy Star programme in the EU will be adapted according to the experience gained during the first programme period, which started in 2001. The programme encourages and supports procurers and consumers in purchasing efficient products through the provision of a label for equipment complying with the programme’s energy efficiency criteria. It also provides assistance on how to save energy and money through the proper use of equipment.
Further information on the programme is available:
http://www.eu-energystar.org/


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