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Brussels, 13 November 2008

Towards more energy efficient products: extending the scope of energy labelling

Over the last 14 years the Energy Labelling Directive (92/75/EEC) has proved to be a very effective policy instrument, leading to a significant improvement of the energy efficiency of household appliances in the EU. The "A-G" label displayed on appliances such as washing machines, dishwashers, refrigerators or ovens has permitted consumers to be informed at the point of sales on the energy consumption hence the running costs of the product, driving the demand for the best-performers. The aim of the Commission proposal is to build on this success, by extending the scope of the Directive beyond household appliances and using it in coordination with additional instruments, such as public procurement and incentives, in order to achieve a dynamic shift of the market towards more efficient products.

The scope of the Directive will be extended to (a) energy-using products used in the industrial and commercial sectors and (b) other energy-related products which have an impact on energy consumption during use, such as insulated windows.

The labelling will be used for indicating, on the one hand, energy consumption/savings and, on the other hand, other relevant and significant environmental parameters of the product during use. The precise modalities of the label will be defined on a product-by-product basis in dedicated implementing measures, after consultation of stakeholders and assessment of impact.

In addition, the new proposal will establish a harmonised base for public procurement and incentives provided by the EU and the Member States. The product-specific implementing measures will indicate the energy-performance level (corresponding to one of the labelling classes) under which public authorities should not procure or grant incentives. These levels will be set with the aim of guaranteeing net savings for public finances while providing the industry with an EU-wide level-playing field.

If fully implemented, the proposal is expected to result in energy savings corresponding to 27 Mtoe (million tonnes of oil equivalent) annually by 2020, which translates into the annual abatement of 80 Mt of CO2 emissions or equivalent to the annual anticipated emissions of Austria in 2020, based on savings from commercial heating and refrigeration appliances and windows alone. The new Directive will benefit consumers (lower energy bills), manufacturers (clear and predicable regulatory framework throughout the internal market, with potential for returns on investments for technology development), and the environment (reduction of CO2 emissions).

More information here.

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