The implementation of the Ecodesign & Energy Labelling policies during the mandate of EU President Juncker has been characterised by continuous delays and a historically low number of measures adopted. Draft measures have been awaiting the final stages of the process for years now.
The EU Commission is now considering going for a package approach, which means grouping the adoption of several measures in one single release to communicate more savings and allegedly avoid the possible repeated controversy linked to the adoption of individual measures. This approach is highly problematic as it makes the adoption of all measures dependant on each other, even if they may have no relation to one another. The intention to pool measures goes against the will of EU regulators who clearly dismissed such an option – unless there were ‘exceptional circumstances’ – in the new Energy Labelling regulation.
The package that should be adopted by the end of 2018 will include new labels for six products foreseen by the revised Energy Labelling Framework: displays, lighting, domestic cold appliances, washing machines, dishwashers and washer dryers. These will be accompanied by the related Ecodesign measures.
But this package must go further. It is a golden opportunity for the Commission to finalise the long-started work on several products. To start with, all industrial groups which have big saving potentials and do not cause controversy among industry groups should be included:
- commercial cold appliances
With domestic products, computers, standby and network standby should be included to avoid the same significant delays. The quicker the sector evolves, the timelier the decision would be made.
Finally, smart appliance measures and energy labelling for taps and showerheads should also be concluded. Following years of freezing and restarting discussions on taps, it is evident that postponing it further will result in severe damage, especially as droughts are becoming more severe year after year.
If a decision were to be made for all these measures, Europe would see roughly 320 TWh of energy savings by 2030. That’s the same as the residential electricity consumption of France, Germany and Austria combined. It’s also equivalent to the electricity production of 86 large size coal power plants (500 MW). These figures don’t even account for the additional material resources and embedded CO2 savings that can be brought by these measures.
Coolproducts believes that the Commission must stop hesitating and start taking action. It is time for Europe to take full advantage of all the benefits that Ecodesign and Energy Labelling policies can bring.