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Brussels, 27 March 2009

Energy savings: Member States support rules to reduce the energy use of circulators

EU Member States expressed their support for a Commission proposal to reduce the electricity consumption of circulators - which will save the equivalent of Ireland's yearly electricity consumption - during today's Ecodesign Regulatory Committee meeting. The Regulation is expected to create 7,000 jobs and make electricity savings of €2.2 billion by 2020.

"The measure is a concrete contribution to reach the EU's energy efficiency and climate protection targets and will result very quickly in significant energy savings and benefits for the society and industry, as foreseen in the European Commission Economic Recovery Plan," said Energy Commissioner Andris Piebalgs.

The Regulation will forbid by 2013 the placing on the market of low and standard efficiency circulators and will allow only very high-efficiency 'intelligent' circulators by 2015. The regulation covers standalone circulators that are small pumps mainly used for the circulation of water in heating applications in commercial and residential buildings and boiler-integrated circulators that form an integral part of a boiler.

Most of the 140 million circulators in use today in Europe are running constantly independently of whether there is a need or not, except if turned off by the user when no heating is necessary. This could lead to a 20% share of the average household energy bill being used for inefficient circulators. A large energy saving could be made by using the high efficiency circulators.The proposed legislation will allow only the sales of very high-efficiency ´intelligent´ circulators that only function when needed and which are able to adjust their speed according to the need.

The legislation will lead to annual use-phase electricity consumption savings (EU-27) of about 23 TWh by 2020, corresponding to an annual reduction of 11 Mt of CO2 emissions. These savings correspond to about the annual electricity consumption of Ireland.

The two-staged approach allows manufacturers, in particular small and medium sized enterprises, to adapt to the new requirements. The Regulation is built on the results of an in-depth analysis of the technical, economic and environmental aspects of circulators, which was carried out together with stakeholders and experts from around the world.

The proposal will now be scrutinised by the European Parliament and the Council and it is scheduled for formal adoption by the Commission in July 2009. Further ecodesign measures will follow in the coming months to cover more product groups.

More information on Ecodesign can be found here.

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