This week the European Commission adopted new EU rules to reduce the energy consumption of electrical appliances when they are in ‘standby’ mode. The revised rules introduce a number of amendments to the 2008 ecodesign regulation on standby, off mode and networked standby, last updated in 2013, following an extensive consultation exercise and scrutiny from the European Parliament and the Council. The changes take account of technological and market developments in recent years and extend the scope of the rules, for example now including products with a low voltage external power supply such as small network equipment (including Wi-Fi routers and modems) or wireless speakers.
By requiring reduced electricity consumption of products when they are in low power mode, the Commission estimates that annual energy savings of 4 TWh will be generated by 2030 – that amount is nearly double the annual consumption of Malta and translates to an annual CO2 saving of 1.36 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent. This will also benefit consumers by reducing their bills, with the total savings for consumers estimated at €530 million a year by 2030.
Thanks to the revised rules, information on standby, off mode and networked standby power consumption as well as on the time needed for the product to reach automatically one of these modes will be more easily accessible to consumers.
Following this week’s adoption, the new regulation will be published in the Official Journal in the near future and enter into force 20 days later. Manufacturers will then have a 2-year transition until the rules apply fully. However, some limits will be applied in 2 stages, with the final rules applicable after 4 years.
Most electric appliances continue to use electricity even when turned off or in “standby” mode. Since 2008 the EU has had in place internal market rules setting minimum efficiency requirements. These rules were updated in 2013 to cover the standby of network-connected devices (“networked standby”). That regulation covers a very large number of different products (around 800 million products sold yearly, with an estimated 5 billion units in use across the EU).
The revision takes the opportunity to repeal Commission Regulation (EC) No 107/2009 with regard to ecodesign requirements for simple set-top boxes as this is no longer relevant.
- Regulation on ecodesign requirements for off mode and standby mode appliances (C/2023/2448 final) and its annexes
- Staff Working Document (SWD/2023/86) and the Executive summary of the impact assessment (SWD/2023/87) are available on the have your say page