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Energy Efficient Products

The Legislative Framework

Ecodesign and Energy Labelling regulations are directly and consistently applicable in the whole EU Internal Market, for improving the environmental performance of products, such as household appliances, ICT products, industrial machinery or tyres.


Ecodesign legislation is a powerful tool in driving the industry towards greater energy efficiency and sustainability. Ecodesign regulation has been instrumental in fostering energy-saving innovations: manufacturers are stimulated to develop newer technologies to maximise energy efficiency while minimising waste.

Even when appliances are switched off, standby power consumption contributes to substantial energy wastage and, consequently energy expenditure and greenhouse gas emissions. Ecodesign legislation has addressed this issue by capping power consumption for standby and off modes of household and electronic products. Since its introduction in 2008, the legislation has progressively tightened these limits, prompting manufacturers to design appliances that consume minimal power during periods of inactivity.

By reducing power consumption and aiming for further reductions industry has made significant progress towards greener and more sustainable energy-related products. Ecodesign has been a game-changer that has influenced the production worldwide and stimulated many third countries to introduce similar legislation, “not to become the rubbish dump” of products not sold in the EU.

Ecodesign is benefitting both consumers and the environment. Improved test methods that reflect real-world usage patterns have led to significant energy performance improvements for many appliances, heating/cooling products, industrial products and more.

Ecodesign for Sustainable Products

In 2024, a new regulation that will gradually replace the Ecodesign Directive, has been adopted.

Ecodesign for Sustainable Products Regulation

Implementing the Ecodesign for Sustainable Products Regulation

Ecodesign Horizontal Legislation

Ecodesign regulation 1275/2008 on energy consumption in ‘off’ and various ‘standby’ modes was designed as a horizontal piece of legislation. Read more information about Standby and Networked Standby, Off Mode.

Energy Labelling

Labelling is empowering consumers to make eco-conscious choices: it helps to bring true value to consumers while pushing the boundaries of innovation toward the most energy-efficient solutions. But how can it provide better value for consumers? According to the Special Eurobarometer 492, almost 80% respondents said they take the energy label into consideration upon purchasing a new appliance. This makes evident the importance of the label, as it strives to improve energy efficiency for all actors across the board. Introduced in 1994, EU energy labels have helped provide consumers with as much information as possible on the energy consumption of an appliance, prior to purchase, making transparent the affordances each appliance has to offer when it comes to saving energy and costs, benefitting the consumers' pocket. On the other hand, this transparency and accountability has driven manufacturers towards the development of new technologies and innovations, aimed to provide more energy-efficient solutions, so that their newer models appear in the highest classes of the label.

The energy label helps to bring true value to consumers. Never before has there been such a choice on the market, from how the product is designed, which brand has manufactured the appliance, how energy efficient the appliance is, and, perhaps most importantly, how much the product costs are weighed up by consumers before deciding which appliance to bring home.

The production of increasingly more energy-efficient products helps reduce energy consumption but also preserve natural resources.  The European Commission’s proposal to merge different product technologies within the same label brings with it the clear advantage of informing consumers of the best product from a purely energy standpoint.

To view more detailed information about the energy label view this link.

Who does what ?

View the roles of the different economic operators under Ecodesign and Energy labelling

Synergic effect of the ecodesign and energy labelling: the Push & Pull

The Energy label is a legislative instrument synergic with Ecodesign policies.  

The Ecodesign legislative framework is intended to set minimum requirements, mostly but not only on energy performance when the product is in its use-phase, but more and more, in the reviews of the regulations on specific products, on the energy and material use over the entire product lifetime. This in turn, influences the carbon emissions.

Ecodesign requirements are mandatory and a condition for placing a product on the market. They target manufacturers that need to design their products respecting all requirements and limitations.

Most of the Ecodesign regulations are accompanied by Energy Labelling ‘sister’ regulations that target consumers, influencing their purchase choice, but also stimulate competition among manufacturers that continuously improve the design of their products aiming at having them appear in the topmost classes and with the best rates on all parameters included in the label.

While Ecodesign 'pushes out' of the EU/EEA market the worst performing products, the Label grades the products allowed to be placed on the market in order to 'pull' consumer purchase choice towards the most efficient ones. 

Rules and Requirements

Market Surveillance

National market surveillance authorities verify whether products sold in the EU follow the requirements laid out in Ecodesign and Energy Labelling regulations.

Omnibus Proposals

A number of Ecodesign and Energy Labelling regulations adopted in 2019 were subsequently modified by 'omnibus regulations':

  • The Ecodesign omnibus is Regulation (EU) 2021/341 amending Regulations (EU) 2019/424, (EU) 2019/1781, (EU) 2019/2019, (EU) 2019/2020, (EU) 2019/2021, (EU) 2019/2022, (EU) 2019/2023 and (EU) 2019/2024 with regard to Ecodesign requirements for servers and data storage products, electric motors and variable speed drives, refrigerating appliances, light sources and separate control gears, electronic displays, household dishwashers, household washing machines and household washer-dryers and refrigerating appliances with a direct sales function;
  • The Energy Labelling omnibus is Regulation (EU) 2021/340 amending Delegated Regulations (EU) 2019/2013, (EU) 2019/2014, (EU) 2019/2015, (EU) 2019/2016, (EU) 2019/2017 and (EU) 2019/2018 with regard to energy labelling requirements for electronic displays, household washing machines and household washer-dryers, light sources, refrigerating appliances, household dishwashers, and refrigerating appliances with a direct sales function.



EU27 Energy Savings 2022 & 2030 From Ecodesign and Energy Labelling

Energy savings 2023 and 2030

Source: estimations from the Ecodesign Impact Accounting Overview Report 2023

Let's talk about statistics!

Energy Consumption

Electricity per EU27 Household
ECO Scenario and Savings VS. BAU, 2020-2030-2050

Household energy consumption chart
VHK EIA Report 2023

In 2020, due to Ecodesign and Energy Labelling regulations, the average EU27 household saved 1015kWh/a of electricity, projected to grow in 2030 to 1163kWh/a. This is respectively 28% (2020) and 32% (2030) of the total annual electricity consumption of the average household in 2020.

The major savings come from food preservation (refrigerators), electronics (largest contributions from TVs and standby), lighting, and cleaning (vacuum cleaners, washing machines and dishwashers).

In addition, the average household saved almost 700kWh of fuel (gas, oil, coal, wood) in 2020, projected to double in 2030. This is respectively 6% (2020) and 12% (2030) of the total annual fuel consumption of the average household in 2020. These savings are mainly the results from the measures on space heating, water heating and tyres.

Due to these reductions in energy consumption, an average household avoided the emission of 360kg CO2-equivalent of greenhouse gases in 2020. In 2030, this is projected to increase to 440kg CO2eq/household.

Expense Savings

Direct User Expense per EU27 Household (incl. VAT, 2020 Euros)
ECO Scenario and Savings VS. BAU, 2020-2030-2050

Household expense savings chart
VHK EIA Report 2023

In 2020, the average EU27 household spent €3 075 for the acquisition, installation, operation, and maintenance of regulated products. Without the Ecodesign and Energy Labelling regulation this would have been €3 271: a saving of €197 per year per household, or a saving of 6% compared to the situation without measures.

Direct savings are only on products used in the households themselves, and a breakdown is shown on the right.

In addition, there are expense savings in the services sector and the industry sector on the regulated products used there. If these savings are translated by these sectors in lower tariffs for their services, or lower costs for their products (or higher wages for their employees), this could lead to an additional benefit per household. This is indicated in the chart below as indirect savings per household, which should be considered as maximum values. In 2020 the maximum additional indirect savings per household are €89.

Summarising, the total expense savings in 2020 are between €197 and €286 per household. In 2030, this is projected to increase to between €475 and €744 per household.

Source: estimations from the Ecodesign Impact Accounting Overview Report 2023