United Kingdom

UK-3:Ecodesign Directive (Market Transformation Programme)

Policy Description

The Ecodesign Directive provides a framework for the European Commission to develop mandatory standards (or alternatively self-regulation by industry) on the environmental impact, primarily energy efficiency, of various energy-using and energy-related product groups. Ecodesign regulations do not prescribe the method for achieving higher energy efficiency but only the required objective in order to allow manufacturers to determine their own technical solutions. The Ecodesign Directive was transposed into UK law under the Ecodesign for Energy Related Products Regulations (SI 2010 No 2617) and is implemented within the Market Transformation Programme.

Description

The Ecodesign Directive provides a framework for the European Commission to develop mandatory minimum energy performance standards (or alternatively self-regulation by industry) on the environmental impact, primarily energy efficiency, of various energy-using and energy-related product groups. Ecodesign regulations do not prescribe the method for achieving higher energy efficiency but only the required objective, e.g. the energy consumption of a TV per TV screen surface area, in order to allow manufacturers to determine their own technical solutions. The Ecodesign Directive was originally passed in 2005 (2005/32/EU) [1] and was amended in 2008 (2008/28/EU) [2] and 2009 (2009/125/EU) [3]. 

Initially, the Ecodesign Directive targeted energy using products (EuPs). However in its 2009 revision, it was extended to target “energy related” products (ErPs) more broadly.  EuPs are products that consume energy to perform their function (e.g. televisions). ErPs are products that do not use energy to perform their function, but do have significant impact on energy use (e.g. insulation).

According to the Directive, a product group can potentially be regulated under Ecodesign when it:

  • Has more than 200,000 units sold annually in the EU
  • Has a significant environmental effect, judging by the number of products in use
  • Has significant improvement potential

Examples of products covered by the Ecodesign directive having a direct impact on industrial energy consumption are: pumps, electric motors, fans, compressors and insulation.

The European Commission introduced product-specific regulations called implementing measures (*1). Implementing measures are product-specific regulations agreed under the framework of the Directive. Manufacturers marketing products covered by an implementing measure in the EU area must ensure that it complies with the energy and environmental standards set out by the measure.

Ecodesign implementing measures for specific product groups should:

  • Have no significant negative impact on (1) functionality, (2) health and safety, (3) affordability, (4) industry’s competitiveness.
  • Not impose proprietary technology on manufacturers
  • Not be an excessive administrative burden for manufacturers

Furthermore, Ecodesign parameters:

  • Consider all phases of the life cycle (manufacturing, transport, use, disposal)
  • Consider the essential environmental aspects (consumption, material, emission, waste etc.) for each phase
  • Determine energy efficiency or energy consumption levels which allow minimum life cycle cost for end consumers

The Ecodesign Directive was transposed into UK law under the Ecodesign for Energy Related Products Regulations (SI 2010 No 2617). Implementation of the Directive is undertaken within the framework of the Market Transformation Programme (MTP) that was already launched in 1998 [4] . The MTP is managed by the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) through a consortium of contractors. The lead contractor is AEA Technology, working alongside Consumer Research Associates. There are also many technical advisers to the programme including the Building Research Establishment (BRE), Intertek Research and Testing Centre and a growing number of others [5].

The UK has been working to adopt Minimum Energy Performance and labelling requirements for the first 31 priority products covered by the legislation. Agreed standards for 13 products (agreed by July 2011) so far are estimated to achieve average annual net benefits of £900 million to UK consumers and Businesses by 2020 [6].

Policy Information Expand this section for information on the key features of the policy, such as its date of introduction, categorization, main objective(s) and linkages with other policies.

Policy Categorisation

Policy Instrument Type: Administrative, Standards

Position in the Pyramid

About Us

Participation: Mandatory

Period

Start Date: 2005

Policy Linkages

Complements Climate Change Agreements (CCA) Effort Defining
Complements EU Emissions Trading System (EU ETS) Effort Defining

Agencies Responsible

Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Department of Energy and Climate Change

Primary Objective: Energy

Objective

Phasing out of non energy efficient products and stimulating investments in energy-efficient technologies

Target Group

Energy-related product manufacturers (i.e. manufacturers of products that either consume energy, or products that do not use energy to perform their function, but do have significant impact on energy use).

Driver of energy consumption or emissions affected by policy: Specific energy consumption.

Implementation Information Expand this section for information on targets, monitoring, verification and enforcement regimes, and implementation requirements and tools.

Coverage

The products covered by the Ecodesign regulations include energy-using products, which use, generate, transfer or measure energy (electricity, gas, fossil fuel), such as boilers, computers, televisions, transformers, industrial fans and industrial furnaces. The products are currently split into six areas [4]: ­Heating Ventilation and Air Conditioning - including products like water heaters and boilers Domestic Appliances - including tumble dryers, ovens and freezers Lighting – including domestic and non domestic lighting products Transformers and Machine Tools Consumer Electronics and Information and Communication Technologies (CE/ICT) – including computers, prints and televisions Motors – including products such as electric motors and machine tools

Quantitative Target? no

Progress Monitored? yes

Verification Required? no

Enforced? yes

Sanctions: Exclusion from the European market and a fine in line with the severity of the non-compliance.

Requirements on the Target Group

Market only those products that meet the minimum agreed energy efficiency standards. These are defined in the ‘Implementing Measures’ (*1) (*2). The development of standards for various product groups are at different stages accroding to different Working Plans. Each Working Plan sets out an indicative list of product groups that are considered as priorities for the adoption of implementing measures [7].

During the 2005-2008 period known as the Transitional Phase (between the entry into force of the Ecodesign Directive in 2005 and the adoption of the first Working Plan in 2008) implementing measures were prepared for a number of products identified as priorities by the European Climate Change Programme (see Article 16 of the Ecodesign Directive).

13 implementing measures (including motors and fans) have been adopted, and are estimated to allow yearly savings by 2020 equivalent to more then 12% of the EU final electricity consumption in 2009 [7].

 

During the 2008-2011 period, a number of Ecodesign preparory studies are undertake to inform the development of implementing measures. For examples, the Ovens and furances study ENTR Lot 4 covers a wide range of laboratory and industrial equipment, available at  http://eco-furnace.org/

For the 2012-2014 Work Plan, s study was carried out to provide the Commission with the necessary background on environmental impacts, saving potential and market conditions in order to select the most appropriate energy related products for this Second Working Plan [7].

 

Support by Government

Implementation Toolbox

DEFRA provides information to manufacturers and importers of products regulated under Ecodesign.

Complexity of Implementation

Government

The Government is responsible for checking compliance and reporting back to the Commission on these activities. However, the complexity for the European Commission in developing Work Plans, commissioning background studies and consultation processes, and agree on implementing measures necessary to set minimum energy performance standards for each product group is relatively high.

Target Group

Feedback from industry indicates that the long lead times, which is the period between the setting of the standard and the moment the standards becomes effective, enable the market to minimise any cost implications from increased efficiency regulations by integrated design and manufacturing changes into normal industrial cycles [8].

Impacts, Costs & Benefits Expand this section to find information on policy effectiveness and efficiency.

Impact Quantitative Estimate Qualitative Estimate
Estimated effect on energy consumption or emissions In the EU-27 Ecodesign has the potential to save 600 TWh of electricity and 600 TWh of heat in 2020 [9] DECC estimates the impact of products policy in the industrial sector in 2.7 TWh/yr saved from 2007 to 2020 [10] The expected impact of the products policy in the industrial sector (2.7 TWh/year of electricity saved) is relatively low compared to the impact on the residential sector (25 TWh/yr) and services (11 TWh/year) [3] .
Estimated costs/benefits for industry N/A Feedback from industry indicates that the long lead times, which is the period between the setting of the standard and the moment the standards becomes effective, enable the market to minimise any cost implications from increased efficiency regulations by integrated design and manufacturing changes into normal industrial cycles [8]
Estimated cost for government N/A

References & Footnotes

References

[1] EU Ecodesign Directive 2005/32/EU available at http://ec.europa.eu/enterprise/policies/sustainable-business/documents/eco-design/legislation/framework-directive/index_en.htm#h2-3

[2] EU Ecodesign Directive 2008/28/EU available at http://ec.europa.eu/enterprise/policies/sustainable-business/documents/eco-design/legislation/framework-directive/index_en.htm#h2-2

[3] EU Ecodesign Directive 2009/125/EC available at http://ec.europa.eu/enterprise/policies/sustainable-business/documents/eco-design/legislation/framework-directive/index_en.htm#h2-1

[4] MURE II Database on Energy Efficiency Policies and Measures (Industry). Available at: http://www.muredatabase.org/public/mure_pdf/household/UK13.PDF

[5] Department of Environment Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) (2012). Market Transformation Programme. Available at: http://efficient-products.defra.gov.uk/cms/

[6] DECC (2011). UK Report on Articles 4 and 14 of the EU End-use Efficiency and Energy Services Directive (ESD). July 2011.

[7] European Commission (2012). Enterprise and industry - Sustainable and responsible business - Products and Working Plans. Available at http://ec.europa.eu/enterprise/policies/sustainable-business/ecodesign/product-groups/index_en.htm#h2-1

[8] Ellis, M. (2007). Experience with energy efficiency regulations for electrical equipment. IEA Information paper, OECD/IEA

[9] Molenbroek E., Cuijpers M., Blok, K, Economics benefits of the EU Ecodesign Directive, improving European economies (2012). Ecofys commissioned by Natuur en Milieu

[10] DECC (2012). Capturing the full electricity efficiency potential of the UK. (Draft Report), July 2012. Available from: http://www.decc.gov.uk/assets/decc/11/cutting-emissions/5776-capturing-the-full-electricity-efficiency-potentia.pdf

Footnotes

(*1) Implementing measures are product-specific regulations agreed under the framework of the Directive. Implementing measures are available at: http://ec.europa.eu/enterprise/policies/sustainable-business/documents/eco-design/legislation/implementing-measures/index_en.htm

(*2) An overview of the stage of implementation of the different product-specific regulations can be found at: http://efficient-products.defra.gov.uk/product-area-updates/ November 2012 update: http://efficient-products.defra.gov.uk/cms/assets/new-GANTT-November-2012.png