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Environmentally friendly design of energy-using devices

The creation of an EU-wide legal method for the environmentally friendly design (ecodesign *) of energy-related products is efficient and consistent and prevents duplication of effort or differences with voluntary measures or national regulatory initiatives.

LEGAL ACT

Directive 2009/125 / EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of October 21, 2009 on the creation of a framework for the definition of environmentally compatible design requirements for energy-related products.

SUMMARY

The creation of an EU-wide legal method for the environmentally friendly design (ecodesign *) of energy-related products is efficient and consistent and prevents duplication of effort or differences with voluntary measures or national regulatory initiatives.

WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF THE DIRECTIVE?

This directive creates a framework for the definition of minimum requirements that energy-related devices must meet with regard to their environmentally friendly design before they can be placed on the market or put into operation in the EU. It does not apply to means of transport used to transport people or goods.

IMPORTANT KEY POINTS

  • The ecodesign requirements take into account all phases of a product's life cycle: from raw materials, manufacturing, packaging and distribution to installation, maintenance, use and end of life.
  • For each of these phases, numerous environmental aspects have to be checked by the bodies notified by the EU countries. They check aspects such as the consumption of materials and energy, anticipated emissions and waste materials, as well as possibilities for reuse, recycling and recovery.
  • Manufacturers create an ecological profile * of their products and use this to consider possible design alternatives.
  • Products that meet these requirements are CE marked and can be sold anywhere in the EU.

Directive 2012/27 / EU amended the 2009 directive to further promote energy efficiency *. The national authorities have the following tasks:

  • Setting indicative national energy efficiency targets;
  • Approval of a long-term strategy for the renovation of residential and commercial buildings;
  • Renovation of 3% of the total area of ​​government-owned buildings from January 1, 2014;
  • Introduction of an energy efficiency obligation system to achieve annual energy savings * for end customers of 1.5% between January 1, 2014 and December 31, 2020;
  • Carrying out an independent energy audit for large companies from 2016;
  • Ensure that customers are billed based on actual usage at least once a year;
  • By December 31, 2015, a comprehensive assessment of the potential for the use of efficient combined heat and power (CHP) * and district heating and cooling will be communicated to the Commission.

See also:

KEY TERMS

* Ecodesign: the consideration of environmental requirements in product design with the aim of improving the environmental compatibility of the product throughout its entire life cycle.

* Ecological profile: the description of the inputs and outputs that can be assigned to a product during its life cycle and that are significant for its environmental impact (e.g. of materials, emissions and waste). These inputs and outputs are expressed in measurable physical quantities.

* Energy efficiency: lower energy consumption to offer the same performance. Examples of such products are energy-efficient refrigerators and washing machines.

* Energy saving: Reduction or deprivation of a service in order to save energy. Example: turn off the light.

* Combined heat and power (CHP): the simultaneous generation of electricity and heat, both of which are used.

* District heating: a heating network with which energy, which often remains unused in power plants and industrial processes, is delivered to a place of consumption and used there.

* District cooling: the central generation and distribution of cooling energy. The cold water pumped through a district cooling network is used to cool the circulating air in ventilation systems. The water is then returned to the production facility to be cooled again.

Last update: 25.08.2015

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