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IP/07/1056

Brussels, 10 July 2007

Commissioner Piebalgs welcomes more stringent energy efficiency standards in public procurement

The European Parliament has adopted today a new version of the regulation on the ENERGY STAR programme. It requires the Member States to apply demanding energy efficiency criteria in the public procurement of office equipment. This marks the first time that the Council, the European Parliament and the Commission agree that certain energy efficiency criteria become binding in public procurement. ENERGY STAR is part of the EU's strategy to better manage energy demand, contribute to security of energy supply and mitigate climate change.

This result underlines the EU's commitment to reach the energy efficiency targets agreed at the March Council. It is important both for environmental reasons and as a means of saving taxpayers' money, since energy efficient office equipment is also cost-effective", remarked Energy Commissioner Andris Piebalgs.

The regulation foresees that EU institutions and central government authoritities in Member States have to use energy efficiency criteria, which are no less demanding than the ones defined in the ENERGY STAR programme, when purchasing office equipment. It is expected that the new regulation will push the demand for energy efficient equipment and increase its market penetration. Until now equipment has been frequently purchased without considering the electricity costs for using it, although an energy efficient model is much cheaper in the longer run, when both purchase price and costs for electricity in use are taken into consideration. Experience from other countries such as the USA shows that public procurement is a powerful tool to push energy efficiency.

The Council is expected to adopt the regulation in July.
Further information on the Community ENERGY STAR programme is available at

www.eu-energystar.org


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