Energy efficiency improvement potentials of 40-60 percent exist for most electrical appliances (motors, household and office appliances, etc.) often based on minimum life cycle cost models. Minimum standards for efficient electric appliances could deliver significant emission reductions.
The European climate change program has identified improving the energy consumption of appliances and office equipment as one of the best and cheapest ways for Europe to fulfil its Kyoto requirements to reduce carbon emissions. But due to weak policies over the last decade the EU has lost its world leadership on efficient energy-using products to countries like Japan.
That's why the Greens actively contributed to the directive on eco-design requirements for energy-using products and the EU labelling scheme.
The directive on Eco-design defines a stringent framework under which the European Commission has to come forward with minimum requirements for the environmental quality of household appliances, office equipment, consumer electronics and industrial process engines. The labelling scheme is a voluntary system designed to encourage businesses to market products and services that are kinder to the environment and for European consumers
The Greens hope that those measures will boost innovation in the European industry and create an example of how thorough environmental legislation can pave the way for a sound economy.
Still, more need to be achieved if Europe wants to take full advantage of the opportunities for significant environmental benefit and reduction of greenhouse gases offered by energy efficient consumer appliances.
The Greens will continue to strive for the following measures:
- A revision of the labelling directive:
- The improvement of the environmental performance of new energy-consuming products;
- Information programs to increase the proportion of the best appliances (label A, A+ and A++) all over Europe;
The Greens will continue to work to reduce energy wastage and make appliances more efficient.
Directive for Eco-design