EC Regulation Reduces Standby Electricity Consumption
December 19, 2008 // Published as a news service by IHS
The regulation lays down energy-efficiency requirements that will cut standby electricity consumption in the European Union (EU) by 73% by 2020.
"The adoption of this first measure under the Ecodesign Directive concludes the EC's year of energy efficiency in the best way and underlines our commitment to energy efficiency goals which are more justified than ever in these times of financial crisis," said Andris Piebalgs, EC energy commissioner. "The measure will save European citizens billions of euros, and it will avoid millions of tons of CO2 emissions."
The standby feature is common to almost all household and office products, such as TVs and computers. It facilitates switching products on and off, such as by a remote control. Standby power consumes approximately 50 terawatt hours of electricity per year in the EU.
The expected 73% savings are comparable to Denmark's yearly electricity consumption, and correspond to approximately 14 million tons of avoided CO2 emissions. The regulation will enter into force 20 days after its publication in the Official Journal of the European Union in the first quarter of 2009.
As of 2010, the standby power consumption of new products has to be less than one or two watts. These values will be lowered in 2013 to 0.5 watt and one watt, which is close to the levels achievable with best available technology.
The EC also plans to adopt soon four more ecodesign regulations - on tertiary sector lighting, simple set-top boxes, external power supplies and non-directional household lamps. These regulations have been recently endorsed by EU member states and are currently being scrutinized by the European Parliament and the European Council, including the recent regulation that established new efficiency standards for light bulbs and that will gradually phase out incandescent light bulbs by 2012 (see IP/08/1909).
This new series of ecodesign measures will save about 125 terawatt hours of electricity by 2020 - an amount comparable to the annual electricity consumption of Sweden.
On July 7, the representatives of the EU member states that form the Ecodesign Regulatory Committee endorsed the EC's proposal for a regulation reducing standby energy consumption of household and office products. The proposal was then sent to the European Parliament for consultation. EC's formal adoption on Dec. 17 was the last step of the comitology procedure.
Further information on ecodesign is available on EC's web page on Energy Policy for a Competitive Europe.
Directive 2005/32/EC of the European Parliament and of the European Council of July 6, 2005 establishing a framework for the setting of ecodesign requirements for energy-using products and amending Council Directive 92/42/EEC and directives 96/57/EC and 2000/55/EC of the European Parliament and of the European Council, Official Journal L 191, 22/07/2005, P. 0029 - 0058.
Source: European Commission.