The European Commission has recently adopted a range of new mandatory ecodesign obligations, which include ecodesign and energy efficiency requirements for energy related products in the EU, pursuant to the EU Ecodesign Framework Directive (Directive 2009/125/EC).

With regulatory and compliance impacts for manufacturers, importers and authorised representatives across a broad range of industries, the sweeping changes set out requirements for the following product groups:

Revision to existing ecodesign requirements:
  • Refrigerating appliances*
  • Washing machines and household washer-dryers*
  • Household dishwashers*
  • Electronic displays*
  • Light sources and separate control gears*
  • External power suppliers
  • Electronic motors and variable speed drives
  • Power transformers (small, medium and large)
New ecodesign requirements:            
  • Refrigerators with a direct sales function*
  • Welding equipment

* Also subject to the new EU energy labelling rules from 1 March 2021.

The ecodesign measures have introduced a significant new focus on ensuring the reparability and durability of energy related products in the target product groups, primarily through ensuring the long-term availability of spare parts and the provision of information on the repair and maintenance of products to professional repairers. It is anticipated that such measures will continue to be rolled out across various other product groups in accordance with consultation over the coming years.

The adoption of these measures tie in with the European Commission’s current Ecodesign Working Plan and climate and circular economy objectives, through the improvement of energy consumption, and “life span, maintenance, re-use, upgrade, recyclability and waste handling” of energy related products in the EU (see European Commission – Press Release, available here).

The ecodesign measures are anticipated to develop significant energy savings across the EU and facilitate an estimated reduction in over 46 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent, contributing to the EU’s implementation of the Paris Agreement (see here).

The adopted ecodesign implementing regulations are set to becoming legally binding in the coming weeks.

Further information on the details of the ecodesign implementing regulations can be found here.