Water pumps are used in commercial buildings for the flow of drinking and general use water, water used for agriculture and water used in the preparation of food.  Pumps are essential for the availability of water and whilst being a very complex system, hold significant potential for improvement.

It is estimated that there are a total of 17 million installed pumps in the EU, and the energy used by these pumps is estimated at 137 TWh per year – nearly 5 Fukushima-type nuclear power plants would be needed to produce this amount of electricity.

What’s the European Union doing?

An ecodesign regulation on water pumps was adopted in June 2012. It is estimated that the ecodesign requirements could save around 3.3 TWh per year by 2020, equivalent to the residential electricity consumption of over 2 million EU citizens.

The regulation is currently under review, with the aim to both revise the requirements and to include other type of pumps in the scope.

What does the Coolproducts campaign want?

  • Increase the ambition of ecodesign requirements at the more advanced stages (so called Tier 2) to a “Minimum Efficiency Index” level of 0.5;

  • Define efficiency limits for lower flow rates (e.g. 50% flow), in which a pump could operate using specific devices to improve its energy consumption (so called “variable frequency drives”);

  • Reduce the number of categories associated with the minimum energy performance requirements, merging subcategories with minor efficiency distinctions;

  • Highlight the presence of rare earth materials in permanent magnet motors. This is important for reuse and recycling purposes.

Coolproducts technical input and position papers:

2019 – Position on the draft proposal to revise Ecodesign regulation 547/2012

2016 – Technical contribution to Tasks 1-4 of the review study

2016 – Technical contribution to Tasks 5-7 of the review study


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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.