Energy savings: Commission presents new rules to reduce ‘standby’ consumption of electrical appliances

Today, the Commission adopted new EU rules to reduce the energy consumption of electrical appliances such as washing machines, TV sets and hand-held video game consoles 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 – which amounts 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.

Manufacturers now have a transition period of two years until these new rules apply. More information is available here.