The European Commission’s delayed release of the Ecodesign Working Plan and rekindling of action on the policy will hopefully trigger fresh enthusiasm to inspire the design of energy efficient products which will save consumers and businesses billons, said the Coolproducts campaign today.

Chloé Fayole, Coolproducts campaign expert, said:

“Having delayed the Ecodesign policy for over 18 months at a cost of €44 billion to consumers and businesses, it is a great relief to see the wheels turning again on efforts to encourage the design of energy efficient products.”

2016 was an ‘annus horribilis’ for ecodesign, with the Commission unjustifiably stalling the legislation. As a result, no energy efficiency standards were applied to new products. The restarting of the Ecodesign policy shows an encouraging willingness from the Commission to catch up on the year wasted.

Despite this progress, the Commission is still failing to fully reap the benefits of ecodesign by not including toasters and hairdryers in the Working Plan, as both appliances can be designed to consume less energy and minimise their environmental impacts. The worry used to justify this decision that such policies are too ‘intrusive’ to consumers holds no weight, as ecodesign legislation lays down clear competition rules which together with energy efficiency labels counter the bias, deceptive messages of invasive advertising.

Stéphane Arditi, Coolproducts campaign coordinator, said:

“Ecodesign has multiple positive effects on society, reducing household energy bills, creating extra revenue for businesses and creating jobs – and if every product listed in the Working Plan was regulated, we would be saving the same amount of energy used by Sweden every year by 2030.

“Ecodesign should be broadened to require gadgets to be made more repairable, recyclable and long lasting – especially smartphones and ICT devices which are deliberately made obsolete by unscrupulous manufacturers to force consumers into buying a new model.”

The Ecodesign Working Plan is a list of products to be investigated by the European Commission to determine whether regulations on their design could result in them becoming more energy efficient, with this plan covering from 2016 to 2019. The list released today is made up of building automation and control systems, electric kettles, hand dryers, lifts, solar panels and inverters, refrigerated containers and high pressure cleaners.

For more information, please contact:

Paul Creeney, paul.creeney@eeb.org, +32 (0) 465 946 509

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With the support of thr European Union (LIFE Programme and European COmmission). This work reflects the author's views and does not commit donors.