In a panel discussion at the Circular Economy Conference organised by the European Commission and the European Economic and Social Committee, ECOS Director Laura Degallaix...
Ecodesign & Energy Labelling
The EU Ecodesign and Energy Labelling Directives have the potential to be the most powerful and effective tools for achieving major energy and CO2 cuts in the EU, providing their ambition level is high and their implementation properly done. Their aim is to increase the environmental performance of products, following a life-cycle approach, and to ensure clear labelling of the energy efficiency performance, allowing consumers to make more sustainable choices.
In 2007, ECOS was mandated by environmental organisations to follow the implementation of these directives and coordinate the input of European environmental NGOs into these policy processes. ECOS’ work on Ecodesign and Energy Labelling is carried out within the framework of the ‘Coolproducts for a cool planet’ campaign, of which ECOS is a pivotal member.
As of 2016, 27 product-specific measures have already been developed and adopted under the Ecodesign framework Directive, as well as 15 related energy labels. Products included range from consumer products such as washing machines and vacuum cleaners to industrial products like power transformers and motors. A detailed list of the products and the aspects at stake is available regularly updated on the Coolproducts website. The preparation of the next list of products that will be covered during the 2015-2017 period is ongoing.
ECOS’ goal is to promote substantial improvements of energy-related products put on the EU market within a short timescale, in order to deliver tangible greenhouse gas reductions by 2020, as well as other potential environmental and social benefits.
ECOS follows the development or revision of product-specific Ecodesign and Energy Labelling implementing measures, providing technical contributions and positions throughout the policy process. Additionally, ECOS provides expertise and contributions to improve the functioning and overall ambition of the policy frameworks as well as undertaking dedicated activities on important related challenges, such as market surveillance and synergies with other energy policies and standardisation.
Furthermore, ECOS complements the participation in regulatory processes by following the development of European standards, which underpin the aforementioned Implementing Measures. The establishment of European harmonised standards is crucial for the implementation of the directive, as they provide the calculation methodologies to be used for the verification of compliance of the products. This very industry-dominated and unbalanced area makes the participation of ECOS necessary in order to ensure that the methods are based on real-life conditions, to monitor whether methods allow for the expected energy savings to materialise, to bring technical expertise from the environmental and consumers’ perspective, and finally contribute to a transparent and participatory standardisation system. Even ambitious regulatory requirements can be hindered if the harmonised standards do not sufficiently address the above considerations.
As of 2014, ECOS has been participating in the development of standards in the areas of:
– space and water heaters (boilers and hot water production appliances)
– motor-driven systems (including electric motors, fans and pumps),
– electric lamps and luminaires,
– commercial and professional refrigerating appliances,
– horizontal issues related to Ecodesign such as tolerances and uncertainties, resource/material efficiency of products, and coordination between Ecodesign and Energy Performance of Buildings standards.
For more details on ECOS’ participation in Ecodesign and Energy Labelling Directives, please contact:
Chloé Fayole – Policy Officer
Christoforos SPILIOTOPOULOS, Senior Policy Officer