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Brussels, 8 July 2008

Member States endorse Commission proposal to reduce standby electricity consumption

During yesterday's meeting of the Ecodesign Regulatory Committee, EU Member States endorsed the Commission's proposal for a regulation reducing standby energy consumption of household and office products. The regulation lays down energy efficiency requirements for all products sold in Europe, thus cutting the EU's standby electricity consumption by almost 75% by 2020.

"This first measure under the Ecodesign Directive[1]will drastically reduce standby electricity consumption of household and office products. It is a concrete contribution to reach the EU's energy efficiency and climate protection targets, while saving citizens' money", remarked Energy Commissioner Andris Piebalgs.

The "standby" regulation applies to all electric devices used in households and offices, such as TVs, computers, microwave ovens, etc. Depending on the functionality of the product it sets a maximum allowed power consumption for standby of either 1 or 2 Watts for the year 2010. As of 2013 the admissible power consumption level will be lowered to 0.5 Watt or 1 Watt, which is close to the levels that can be achieved with the best available technology.

The regulation will reduce today's standby electricity consumption in the EU - approx. 50 TWh per year - by 73% by 2020. These savings are equal to Denmark's yearly electricity consumption and would lead to approximately 14 Mt CO2 emission savings per year. Further savings are expected in other parts of the world as well, since many of the targeted products are sold worldwide. The staged approach allows manufacturers to adapt their products to the new requirements in time. The regulation builds on the results of an in-depth analysis of the technical, economic and environmental aspects of standby, which was carried out together with stakeholders and experts from around the world.

The standby regulation will now be scrutinised by the European Parliament. It is scheduled for formal adoption by the Commission within 2008. Eco-design measures on other product groups will follow in the coming months.

Further information on Ecodesign is available here.

[1] Directive 2005/32/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 6 July 2005 establishing a framework for the setting of ecodesign requirements for energy-using products and amending Council Directive 92/42/EEC and Directives 96/57/EC and 2000/55/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council, Official Journal L 191, 22/07/2005, P. 0029 - 005

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