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Brussels, 17 December 2008

Ecodesign: Commission reduces standby electricity consumption

The Commission has adopted today the ecodesign regulation to reduce standby energy consumption of all household and office products. The regulation lays down energy efficiency requirements which will cut the standby electricity consumption by almost 75% by 2020.

"The adoption of this first measure under the Ecodesign Directive[1] concludes the Commission's year of energy efficiency in the best way, and underlines our commitment to energy efficiency goals which are more justified than ever in these times of financial crisis. The measure will save European citizens billions of Euros, and it will avoid millions of tons of CO2 emissions", said Energy Commissioner Andris Piebalgs.

On 7 July, the Representatives of the Member States that form the Ecodesign Regulatory Committee endorsed the Commission's proposal for a regulation reducing standby energy consumption of household and office products. Then the proposal was send to the European Parliament for consultation, and the Commission has taken today the formal adoption, the last step of the comitology procedure.

The standby feature is common to almost all household or office products, such as TVs or computers, it facilitates switching products on and off e.g. by a remote control. Standby consumes approximately 50 TWh electricity per year in the EU, and the regulation will trigger a reduction by 73% by 2020. The savings are comparable to Denmark's yearly electricity consumption, and correspond to approximately 14 Mt of avoided CO2 emissions. The regulation will enter into force 20 days after its publication in the Official Journal of the EU in the 1st Quarter 2009. As of 2010 the standby power consumption of new products has to be less than 1 Watt or 2 Watts. These values will be lowered in 2013 to 0.5 Watt and 1 Watt, which is close to the levels achievable with best available technology.

The Commission plans to adopt four[2] more ecodesign regulations soon, which have been recently endorsed by the Member States and are currently being scrutinised by the European Parliament and the Council, including the regulation which will gradually phase out incandescent light bulbs. This first series of ecodesign measures will save about 125 TWh of electricity by 2020 – an amount comparable to the annual electricity consumption of Sweden.

The last measure of the Ecodesign Regulatory Committee, on 8 December, established new efficiency standards for light bulbs that will regularly phase out incandescent light bulbs by 2012. See IP IP/08/1909

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 - 0058

[2] Tertiary sector lighting, simple set-top boxes, external power supplies, non-directional household lamps

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