With every passing year, new heat records are beaten across Europe and the use of domestic air-conditioners is growing. Unless new energy saving measures are put in place, their electricity consumption is expected to rise from 40 TWh in 2020 up to 62 TWh in 2030, which is the same as the residential electricity consumption of Italy.

Air-conditioners not only increase the use of electricity, but they also threaten the balance of electricity grids during the periods of their peak demand. To top it off, they contain refrigerant fluids that, if leaked, can contribute substantially to global warming.

A particularly inefficient type of air conditioners are the small portable ones (single ducts). Very often, they need an open window to operate, and tend to be an impulse purchase. It is crucial to curb the mushrooming of such products.

What’s the European Union doing?

Domestic air-conditioners have been covered by an energy label since 2002 (updated in 2011), and by ecodesign requirements since 2012.  The last stage of requirements entered into force in January 2014.

These two regulatory instruments are now largely outdated. In fact, products can be found on the market that outperform the highest A+++ labelling class by over 20%.

A review study carried out in 2018 shows that about 4 TWh/year of electricity could be saved by 2030 through updated measures. Consultations are being held to proceed with the regulatory revision.

What does the Coolproducts campaign want?

 On Ecodesign 

  • Stricter energy performance requirements, closer to the level of the best available technologies and comparable to those set in Japan, Australia and the US

  • A very stringent regime for small portable products (single ducts), as they are particularly inefficient

  • A requirement to ensure that all air-conditioners consume zero Watt when they are not in use (i.e. outside the summer season)

  • Penalties for models not using the greenest refrigerants

  • Resource efficiency requirements, for instance establishing a minimum share of recycled material and ensuring products can be easily dismantled and recycled.

On the energy label

  • A substantially rescaled label, back to an A to G scale and where the A and B classes are genuinely challenging

  • A single energy label for all air-conditioning products, to replace the current unfair situation of separate ones for split, double ducts, and single ducts.

  • Resource efficiency information on the label (e.g. repairability score).

  • Stricter market surveillance, as there is evidence that many products are unlabelled.

Coolproducts technical input and position papers:

2019 – Air conditioners and comfort fans: Position on the Ecodesign & Energy Labelling proposals

2018 – Comments on air conditioners and comfort fans Tasks 3 – 7

2017 – Comments on air conditioners and comfort fans Tasks 1 – 2

2010 – Contribution to the European Commission revised working document 

2009 – Contribution to the European Commission working document

2008 – Technical input to initial tasks of the preparatory study

COOLPRODUCTS COVERAGE

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Diariodigital logo
Daily Mail logo
economist logo
El Pais logo
La Stampa logo
les Echoes logo
Politiken logo
Spiegel logo
The telegraph logo
The Guardian logo
The Verge logo
motherboard logo
Le moniteur logo
Zeitung logo

EUROPEAN PARTNERS

EEB logo
ECOS logo
topten logo
FoEe logo
Clientearth logo
CAN logo
WWF logo
Inforse logo
Zero Waste Europe logo
EIA logo
EEB logo

NATIONAL
PARTNERS

Bound logo
Ecodes logo
greenalliance logo
Natuur logo
The Eco Conucyl logo
Quercus logo
Global 2000 logo
Legambiente logo
Zero logo
CLER logo
Les Amis logo
Hop logo

Supporters

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Life logo

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