New eco-design measures have been adopted by the European Commission in a bid to make electrical products last longer and use less energy.
An Ecodesign and Energy Labelling Package aims to reduce Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) by making it easier to repair electronic items, largely through making spare parts more available and easier to replace.
On increasing energy efficiency, the package is expected to deliver 167 TWh of final energy savings per year by 2030 – equivalent to the annual energy consumption of Denmark.
Jyrki Katainen, European Commission Vice-President for Jobs, Growth, Investment and Competitiveness, said: “Whether it is by fostering repairability or improving water consumption, intelligent eco-design makes us use our resources more efficiently, bringing clear economic and environmental benefits.”
The requirements cover a number of common household electrical items, as well as commercial or industrial products.
The items included are refrigerators, washing machines, dishwashers, electronic displays (including televisions), light sources and separate control gears, external power suppliers, electric motors, refrigerators with a direct sales function (such as fridges in supermarkets or vending machines), power transformers and welding equipment.
The package is part of implementing the ‘Energy efficiency first’ principle of the EU’s Energy Union priority. The policy applies to all products placed on the market in the EU, irrespective of where they were manufactured.
Spare parts will have to be available for a longer period of time after purchase – for example, seven years minimum for refrigerating appliances and ten years minimum for household dishwashers.