Domestic air-conditioners are not widespread in Europe, but their electricity consumption is expected to more than double by 2020 and reach 75 TWh per year without energy saving measures - equal to the residential electricity consumption of Spain.
Different types of commercial refrigerators and freezers are available on the market today, such as beverage coolers, refrigerated vending machines, display cabinets in supermarkets, etc. Mostly used in supermarkets and grocery stores, they consume a substantial amount of energy: 85 TWh in the European Union in 2013 according to the European Commission, corresponding to 34 Mt CO2-eq.
Compressors are machines which increase the pressure of air, gases, or vapours through input of mechanical work. They are used in very diverse industrial processes like refining, exploration and production, chemical industries, medical applications, but also as process enabler such as in blowing processes (for beverage glass containers for example).
Fridges are the most commonly owned appliance in the European Union and the most energy hungry electric appliance in our homes. EU standards and an energy label have done a lot to improve efficiency, but they are now stale and no match for a trend towards ever-larger and more powerful machines, a trend threatening to wipe out all efficiency gains.
Electric motor-driven systems are composed of different energy-using products such as motors, drives, pumps or fans. They have been identified as a major consumer of electricity in industry and commerce for many years. Within these systems, the role of electric motors is to convert electrical power into mechanical power. By doing so, motors consume the vast majority of the electricity used by the system itself.
Every mobile phone, laptop and many other products require a power adapter to convert household electricity to a lower-voltage. In recent years, the explosion in the number of portable devices requiring such adaptors, or external power supplies (EPS), has led to a wasteful substantial surplus in our homes.
Increasingly powerful games consoles should not come with ever-increasing energy consumption, particularly when they are performing secondary functions such as connecting to the internet or playing a DVD. These devices are not easily upgradable or repairable and usually end up adding to Europe's mountain of toxic electronic waste.
Efficient taps and showers could save us as a staggering 2,300 million cubic metres of water every year in the EU, enough to comfortably meet all the annual water needs of 32 million citizens. Good models that do not affect product performance are already on the market and consumers will quickly make net savings on their utility bills after upgrading.
A typical clothes drier can consume more than double the energy of a washing machine, and the number of units found in EU households is increasing. With various options available to reduce energy consumption in these products, it is vital the European Commission continues to set ambitious requirements for these products.