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Energy Efficient Products
Circulator image
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Ecodesign requirements apply to this product.

Circulators are special pumps used to circulate a liquid through a closed loop system. A common use is in central heating systems, with the function of transporting hot water. In the product study for circulators, two base cases were identified: standalone and boiler integrated devices. Both types are included in the final Ecodesign regulation.

The circulator pumps included in the regulations are ‘glandless’, which means that the shaft of the motor is directly coupled to the pump, while ‘glanded’ circulators have an external shaft to which the motor can be attached. This clarification was introduced to prevent an overlap with the Ecodesign regulation for ‘water pumps’.


Under the Regulation, a circulator is defined as ‘an impeller pump, with or without pump housing, which has the rated hydraulic output power of between 1 W and 2 500 W and is designed for use in heating systems or in secondary circuits of cooling distribution systems.

The following table shows some examples of products in scope and out of scope

In Scope Out of Scope
  • glandless standalone circulators;
  • glandless circulators integrated in products.
  • drinking water circulators, except as regards the product information requirements of Annex I, point 2(1)(d);
  • circulators integrated in products and placed on the market no later than 1 January 2022 as replacement for identical circulators integrated in products and placed on the market no later than 1 August 2015, except as regards the product information requirements of Annex I, point 2(1)(e).

Check the complete list in the Regulation

Ecodesign Requirements

Ecodesign requirements apply to circulators placed on the EU market. These requirements cover:

  • energy efficiency
  • product information



Circulators - pump devices used to circulate a fluid in a closed system, such as hot water in heating systems or cooling water in cooling distribution systems – are subject to EU ecodesign requirements. By 2030, energy efficiency rules for circulators will lead to annual energy savings of 14 TWh in the European Union, reducing CO2 emissions by 1 million tonnes.

The regulation also covers circulators built into other products, such as boilers. It does not cover drinking water circulators.

Facts & Figures

This graphic shows the estimated sales, stock, energy consumption (primary, electric or fuel), greenhouse gas emissions, consumer expenses and business revenues for years 2010 and 2030. The estimated values inside the graph bars are those from the EIA ECO-scenario, they include the effects of ecodesign and energy labelling measures.  

The difference with the business as usual (BAU) scenario without these estimated measures is shown next to the graph bar. These figures indicate the estimated savings obtained due to the measures.

Product: Circulators

Measures: Regulation (EU) 641/2009

chart legend
Effect of Regulations

SALES (x1000/a units)

Circulator Sales Chart

STOCK (x1000 units)

Circulator Stock Chart

Electricity (TWh/a)

Circulator Electricity Chart

(Mt CO2 eq/a)

Circulator GHG Emissions Chart

(bn €/a)

Circulator Consumer Expenses Chart

(bn €/a)

Circulator Revenues Chart

Source: estimations from the Ecodesign Impact Accounting Overview Report 2023

Expected Savings

Circulators are a typical example where forward-looking manufacturers, pressed the Commission to investigate the eligibility for an Ecodesign regulation for their products, because they believe that ambitious standards in energy efficiency are not only good for the environment but also good for business.

Circulator pumps up to 2.5 kW are typically, but not exclusively, used to pump water through (closed) central heating systems. Although power consumption may be limited, they are ubiquitous and have very long operating hours (typically 5000 hours per year). They may be a component in a heating boiler (‘integrated’), or used as a standalone product mounted by the installer somewhere in the heating circuit.

At the time when the Commission first investigated the product in 2008 - 2009, their electricity consumption amounted to 39 TWh/year, comparable to e.g. the energy use of washing machines in the EU in 2010 (36 TWh/a). Furthermore, the energy saving potential was substantial due to the tendency in the sector to vastly over-dimension the circulator and use only basic controls. The new metrics of the Ecodesign regulation played an important role in transforming the market, with a drop in electricity use to 33 TWh/a in 2015, 24 TWh/a in 2020 and projected 21 TWh/a in 2030. This is a 40% saving in electricity and CO2 emissions, while at the same time the product contributed to achieving a higher heating comfort.

Circulator Consumption

Source: estimations from the Ecodesign Impact Accounting Overview Report 2023

Note about double counting: some circulators covered by the Regulation are incorporated in products covered by other ecodesign Regulations (e.g. boilers). Therefore, a part of the energy consumption / savings shown here is also included in the figures of these other products, leading to a form of double counting. The double counting effect is already accounted for in the figures above (the values shown here need to be multiplied by 2.63 to get the non-double counted values).


Ongoing legislative work

Please check the ongoing initiatives on the Have your say portal.

The legal framework is Commission Regulation (EC) 641/2009 of 22 July 2009 implementing Directive 2005/32/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council with regard to ecodesign requirements for glandless standalone circulators and glandless circulators integrated in products.

Disclaimer: please pay attention to possible updates/changes as indicated in the Official Journal (green dot)


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