Product policy

Improving the energy efficiency of products has been a priority for the European Union.  It began through appliance (energy) labelling and has moved on to include minimum energy performance standards developed through Ecodesign.  Further, there are other measures such as through a bilateral arrangement with the US ENERGY STAR programme.

The Ecodesign Directive (Directive 2009/125/EC) provides with consistent EU-wide rules for improving the environmental performance of energy related products (ERPs).

Energy related products account for a large proportion of the energy consumption in the EU and include:

  • Energy-using products, which use, generate, transfer or measure energy (electricity, gas, fossil fuel), such as boilers, computers, televisions, transformers, industrial fans, industrial furnaces etc.
  • Other energy related products which do not use energy but have an impact on energy and can therefore contribute to saving energy, such as windows, insulation material, shower heads, taps etc. The Directive is under the responsibility of DG Enterprise and Industry and DG Energy.

The Ecodesign Directive is available here

On 19 May 2010, the EU adopted the Directive 2010/30/EU on energy labels. Energy labels are used to help consumers choose products that save energy. The Directive is available here

Energy Star is a voluntary energy labelling programme for office equipment. The Energy Star logo helps consumers identify office equipment products that save energy and money. Manufacturers, assemblers, exporters, importers and retailers willing to place the Energy Star label on products meeting or exceeding energy-efficiency guidelines can register with the European Commission.  In 2006, the new EU-US Energy Star Agreement for office equipment came into force for a second period of five years. [not on website that it was renewed in 2011]