Electric kettles and other water heating appliances can be found in many European households, bars and restaurants. In fact, their numbers are growing since most models are very cheap. The potential to make these devices more energy efficient is significant – and this can be achieved without excessive costs. This means we could easily save between 4.8 and 8.7 TWh per year by 2030.
What is the European Union doing?
At present, there is no EU regulation in place to limit the environmental impact of water heating appliances. Postponed for years, the preparatory study finally started in 2020, with a view to be finalised in 2021. Based on these findings, the European Commission and the Member States will decide whether to set mandatory design requirements for these appliances.
What does the Coolproducts campaign want?
Ecodesign requirements should ban the least energy efficient water heating appliances from the market and an energy label should promote the most efficient ones.
The environmental saving potential of the full range of water heating devices should be assessed, including for instance stand-alone hot water dispensers and urns with a capacity of over 10 litres. Exclusions from the scope should be limited and properly explained, based on sales data, including appliances for commercial use.
Some measures that could be easily implemented:
- Each kettle should have filling level indicators as these can reduce water usage and at the same time save energy by preventing overboiling
- Material efficiency requirements, for instance to reduce the use of plastic components, should be set to improve recyclability
- The durability of water heating appliances should be improved to prolong the product’s lifetime. Repair should be an easy option, facilitated for instance by guaranteeing the availability of spare parts.