EU official: Households will save €500 a year from existing EU energy-saving laws

(EurActiv, 1 Mar 2019) The European Union has seen significant changes in recent years to requirements for household appliances. But the most important steps may be yet to come, says Gwenole Cozigou.

Gwenole Cozigou is director of industrial transformation and advanced value chains in the European Commission’s directorate for the internal market, industry, entrepreneurship and SMEs (DG GROW). He respondent in writing to questions by EURACTIV correspondent Dave Keating.


The EU has made a big effort over the past years to improve the energy efficiency of white goods such as fridges and dishwashers. What have been the main changes, and are the results already evident?

The Commission has played a key role in achieving significant savings in energy and resource use, particularly through energy labels and Ecodesign requirements. These are empowering consumers to choose more energy efficient and eco-friendly products that allow them to make savings while contributing to our climate ambitions. At the same time, these measures are supporting our industry’s competitiveness by eliminating the least efficient products from the market.

This Commission is continuing to prepare new measures while aiming to limit their intrusiveness and focus on the products that can deliver the biggest energy and resource efficiency savings.

We estimate that thanks to existing eco-design and energy labelling requirements, the EU will have saved 15% of energy by 2020, while reducing the energy bills of European households by almost €500 each year.

Energy efficiency improvements show in concrete examples. Take refrigerators for instance, which were the first product group subject to a mandatory energy label and where we can observe a 60% energy efficiency improvement between 1995 and 2016. Similarly, thanks to EU measures, the consumption of water by dishwashers in any cycle has halved in the period from 1997 to 2015, with further savings expected by 2030.

External link

EurActiv, 1 Mar 2019: EU official: Households will save €500 a year from existing EU energy-saving laws