The steps ahead leading to an EU product database
Thanks to the revision of the Energy Label Framework Directive, Europe will have its own product database launched in 2019. Through the database, manufacturers and importers will provide information on the product models (falling under the Energy Labelling regulatory framework) they place on the common market.
The database will include a free-access, open data part for the public, and a restricted area for market surveillance authorities which contains sensitive information. These types of databases already exist in other large economies, as highlighted in our paper. A well-designed database should support market surveillance by improving the focus and swiftness of verification and enforcement activities.
The database will feed into policy processes, and will be instrumental to in identify products on the market, track market changes (i.e. best available models, average efficiencies, evolutions of other product characteristics), and evaluate policies.
The database has the potential to be even more useful if it expands its scope to all products covered by energy efficiency regulations (not only Energy Labelling), and collects sales data on top of that.
With the database scheduled to be up and running in 18 months, several challenges must be tackled before then, most notably with regards to product identification and data security. Stakeholders are consulted via an Ecodesign Consultation Forum Subgroup split in three topics: suppliers, market surveillance authorities, and consumers.