How the Eco-design directive works?

How the Eco-design directive works?

The scope of Energy using product directive was expanded to all energy related products in 2009. The Eco-design directive allows the Commission to develop regulations for practically any product used in buildings.

The Eco-design directive does not set binding requirements on products by itself: it provides a framework (rules and criteria) for setting such requirements through implementing measures. The Commission prepares implementing measures only for products which have significant sales and trade in the EU and a significant environmental impact and potential for improvement. The preparation of implementing measures includes several stages, starting from a preparatory study for a product group (“Lot”) and ending up in publishing the implementation measure as a regulation. The requirements for products defined in the regulation are exactly the same for all EU Member States.

Industry and other stakeholders may follow the progress in all stages, and during the preparatory studies stakeholder meetings are arranged, in principle open to all. More info at the link

The Eco-design directive 2009

The scope of Energy using product directive was expanded to all energy related products in 2009. This directive allows the Commission to develop regulation for practically any product used in buildings.

The general background and basic ideas are well described at the Ecodesign website of DG ENTR, and in the BROCHURE linked to the same website

How can I influence ?

-> register as a stakeholder
(for further information go to the relevant study’s website) - Links provided further below



  1. Working plan
  2. Preparatory study    - Stakeholder meetings
  3. Draft regulation - Consultation forum
  4. Regulatory Committee
  5. Final regulation


The following figure shows the phases in more detail, including also some features of the minimum duration of phases. The whole process – from call for tenders to final adoption - takes 55 months as a minimum, but in practice it can take up to 10 years or even more.


Preparatory study

The Preparatory study of each product group includes eight tasks, related to each other as shown below (source: ) according to the "MEEuP Methodology". This methodology has recently been revised and the new “MEErP Methodology” is to be adapted in the future studies with a new “Scoping analysis” task added at the beginning.

Adopted HVAC related regulations

Implementing measures have been published and regulations have entered into force for several product groups, including (Regulations can be obtained from Ecodesign website -> Product groups page / Table at the bottom gives links to the regulations in all EU languages)

•         Electrical motors - Commission Regulation (EC) No 640/2009

•         Circulators - Commission Regulation (EC) No 641/2009 

•         Fans (125 W to 500 kW power input) - Commission Regulation (EU) No 327/2011

•         Air conditioners and comfort fans - Commission Regulation (EU) No 206/2012

The first 13 implementing measures are estimated to allow about 365 TWh yearly savings by 2020, equivalent to more than 12% of the final EU electricity consumption in 2009. Electric motors alone are estimated to contribute more than 35% of these savings.

Regulations in preparation (studies completed)

Heating products

While the draft Regulations for Solid fuel boilers and Local space heaters are approaching the final phases (Regulatory Committee vote at the end of September), the preparatory work dealing with Central heating products is approaching the Consultation Forum phase – meeting scheduled for 24 September in Brussels. This work of still another regulation for heaters is originally based on ENER Lot 21 “Central heating products”. However, the title of the document to be dealt with at the Consultation Forum indicates a more extensive scope and a wider range of products, namely "Working document on possible requirements for air heating products, cooling products and high temperature chillers, draft ecodesign regulation". The draft document actually reveals many changes to the basic outcome of “Lot 21”, so it would be important for both Member States and individual manufacturers, as well as manufacturers’ organizations to study the current proposals carefully.

Boilers and water heaters: Draft regulations for boilers (Lot 1) and water heaters (Lot 2) have proceeded, and the relevant documents for eco-design, labelling and testing and calculation of boilers and water heaters were submitted to Member States for review in February 2012, and voting in Regulatory Committee is scheduled for March 2013.

ENER Lot 1 Boilers - The scope of this lot includes self-standing boilers. Technologies covered are fossil-fuel boilers, heat pumps and micro cogeneration up to electrical capacity of 50W. This includes combination boilers providing heat for heating sanitary water.

The draft ecodesign requirements would be introduced gradually two and four years after entry into force of the regulation. Annex II of the proposal includes information requirements and minimum performance standards for seasonal space heating energy efficiency, water heating energy efficiency,  sound power level and nitrogen oxide emissions.

ENER Lot 2 Water Heaters. - The proposed requirements for water heaters, storage tanks, space and combination heaters include provisions for energy efficiency, storage volume, sound power level, nitrogen oxide emissions and product information.

ENER Lot 15 Solid fuel boilers and fireplaces .- The scope of the proposed ecodesign requirements include solid fuel boiler space heaters and solid fuel boiler combination heaters ('boilers') ≤ 500 kW. Boiler combination heaters can be defined as boilers for space heating in combination with supply of heat to deliver hot drinking and sanitary water. They were not included in the preparatory study of lot 15, but have been included in the working document since no specific other lot covers this product type.

Ecodesign Lot 20 and 21 for heating products final reports are now available at for local heating (Lot 20), and for central heating products (Lot 21).


Ventilation products

For Ventilation units, the first Working Document containing a draft regulation of ecodesign and labeling, was discussed in November 2012 at the Consultation Forum. Now a new draft has been completed and under the Commission’s internal consultation and expected, possibly with further changes, to be sent out to Member States for comments, and finally subject to  Regulatory Committee vote in December 2013 (meeting date still open). The document is based on the “Ventilation” parts of ENER Lot 10 and ENTR Lot 6. One key issue there is that the borderline between “residential ventilation units” and “non-residential ventilation units” has now been defined. Units with fans of less than 125 W power input are regarded as “residential”, and larger ones as “non-residential”. The proposed regulation, however, gives the manufacturer the possibility to decide the category of the unit independently of the size. Labelling requirements are prepared for “residential ventilation” only, because energy labelling is primarily for consumer products.  The requirements, planned to enter into force from the beginning of 2016, and more stringent requirements from the beginning of 2018, include minimum heat recovery efficiency, minimum fan efficiency and specific power input (for residential units) or specific fan power (for non-residential units).

ENTR Lot 6 – Air Conditioning and Ventilation Systems was closed in July 2012.

Links to the complete final outcome of both “Ventilation” and “Air conditioning” parts of the study are available in the project website.

Ongoing work (studies relevant to HVAC products)

Pumps for private and public waste water and for fluids with high solids content – (ENER Lot 28)

Pumps for private and public swimming pools, ponds, fountains and aquariums, as well as clean water pumps – (ENER Lot 29)

Motors outside the scope of the Regulation

640/2009 on electric motors – (ENER Lot 30)

Compressors - (ENER Lot 31)

For these product groups, preparatory studies were launched in late 2011 or early 2012, and the adoption phase is scheduled for year 2015.

2012-14 Working Plan – Future activities

The second Ecodesign Working Plan  for the period 2012-2014 was adopted on 7 December 2012. The Working Plan sets out an indicative list of product groups which are considered priorities for the adoption of implementing measures under the Ecodesign Directive. More information about the prodict groups can be found here

According to Article 16(1) of the Eco-design Directive, the Commission adopted in December 2012 a Working Plan for the period 2012-2014, setting out an indicative list of energy-using products which will be considered in priority for the adoption of implementing measures.

•                     Window products

•                     Steam boilers (< 50MW)

•                     Power cables

•                     Enterprises' servers, data storage and ancillary equipment

•                     Smart appliances/meters

•                     Wine storage appliances (c.f. Ecodesign regulation 643/2009)

•                     Water-related products

Wine storage appliances have been added to the priority list, as there is a legal obligation under Ecodesign regulation 643/20099 to assess the need to adopt ecodesign requirements for this product group. It has been estimated that the combined energy savings potential of the priority product groups covered by this working plan would amount to just under 3000 PJ per year by 2030. The list of conditional product groups, where launching a preparatory study is dependent on the outcome of ongoing regulatory processes and/or reviews, comprises the following groups:

•                     Positive displacement pumps

•                     Fractional horse power motors under 200W

•                     Heating controls

•                     Lighting controls/systems

•                     Thermal insulation products for buildings

The Commission has also published its report on the revision of the Eco-design Directive. The main conclusion is that there is not an immediate need to review the Directive and that the scope needs no extension to non-energy-related products.