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Energy Efficient Products
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Power Transformers

Ecodesign requirements apply to this product.

Utility transformers (or power transformers, TRAFO) transform an incoming alternating current (AC) power system into an outgoing AC power system, often converting from higher voltage to lower voltage or vice versa.

As TRAFOs essentially pass the upstream electricity (input) on to the downstream users (output), only the losses (input minus output) are accounted as electricity consumption.

TRAFOs are used in the transmission and distribution of electricity, between the point of generation and the point of use. The associated losses are already considered in the EIA as part of the efficiency assumed for electricity generation and distribution (PEF). This PEF is used when determining the primary energy (fuel) necessary to supply a given amount of electricity to the end-user.

Source: estimations from the Ecodesign Impact Accounting Overview Report 2023


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

In Scope Out of Scope
  • power transformers with a minimum power rating of 1 kVA used in 50 Hz electricity transmission and distribution networks or for industrial application;
  • instrument transformers, specifically designed to transmit an information signal to measuring instruments, meters and protective or control devices or similar apparatus;
  • transformers specifically designed and intended to provide a DC power supply to electronic or rectifier loads. This exemption does not include transformers that are intended to provide an AC supply from DC sources such as transformers for wind turbine and photovoltaic applications or transformers designed for DC transmission and distribution applications;

Check the complete list in the Regulation

Ecodesign Requirements

Rules on ecodesign mainly cover minimum energy efficiency levels of transformers with a minimum power rating of 1 kVA that are used in 50 Hz electricity networks or in industrial applications. 

The original Regulation on ecodesign requirements for power transformers (EU) 548/2014 has pushed the transformers market in the EU to manufacture more efficient models and reduce lifecycle costs. 

From November 2019, the original regulation is amended by Regulation (EU) 2019/1783. This regulation introduces targeted concessions from the minimum efficiency requirements applicable in Tier 2 from July 2021 and clarifies several provisions in the original regulation. 



Using more energy efficient transformers should lead to energy savings of an estimated 16 TWh per year after 2020. This is equivalent to 3.7 million tons less of CO2 being emitted each year, or half of Denmark’s total annual electricity consumption (32 TWh).

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: Utility Transformers

Measures: Regulation (EU) 548/2014, amendment Regulation (EU) 2019/1783

chart legend
Effect of Regulations

SALES (x1000 units)

External Power Supply Sales Chart

STOCK (x1000 units)

External Power Supply Stock Chart

Electricity (TWh/a)

External Power Supply Electricity Chart

(Mt CO2 eq/a)

External Power Supply GHG Emissions Chart

(bn €)

External Power Supply Consumer Expenses Chart

(bn €)

External Power Supply Revenues Chart

Source: estimations from the Ecodesign Impact Accounting Overview Report 2023

Expected Savings

The total EU27 stock of TRAFOs in scope of regulation 548/2014 was 4.4 mln units in 2020 and had 105 TWh/a of electricity losses. The largest part (63%) are distribution TRAFOs (0.4 MVA) but they account for only 19% of overall TRAFO losses. Industry TRAFOs (oil and dry, 1-1.25 MVA) are 17% of the stock and responsible for another 19% of the losses. Small TRAFOs (0.016 MVA) are 15% of the stock, but associated to only 2% of the losses. Power TRAFOs (100 MVA) are only 2% of the stock but cause 55% of the losses.

To avoid that losses are counted twice, the EIA sets the electricity consumption of TRAFOs to zero for the BAU scenario and then considers the savings (smaller losses) due to Ecodesign measures as negative electricity consumption in the ECO scenario.

Small TRAFOs and Power TRAFOs have no associated electricity savings. The savings due to Ecodesign measures on the other TRAFO-types are 17 TWh/a in 2030, reducing their electricity losses from 144 TWh/a (without measures) to 127 TWh/a.

Total EU27 Annual Electricity Consumption of Utility Transformers for Scenarios with and without Measures

Power transformer electricity consumption chart
Power transformer electricity consumption legend

Source: estimations from the Ecodesign Impact Accounting Overview Report 2023


Ongoing legislative work

The Regulation is currently under review. Please check the ongoing initiatives on the Have your say portal.

Commission Regulation (EU) 548/2014 of 21 May 2014 on implementing Directive 2009/125/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council with regard to small, medium and large power transformers

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


6 MARCH 2024
Summary Impact Assessment