Labelling of Products and Buildings - latest updates
The new EU Regulation setting a framework for energy labelling, simplifying and updating the energy efficiency labelling requirements for products sold in the EU, has been published in the EU's Official Journal. In the future, all products will be labelled on a new, updated and clearer scale from A (most efficient) to G (least efficient). This system will gradually replace the current system of A+++ to G labels, which as a result of the development of ever more energy efficient products in recent years no longer enables consumers to distinguish clearly between the most energy efficient items. The new scale will help consumers make better informed purchasing choices.
In addition, a product registration database will allow the public to consult product labels and information sheets, making it easier to compare the energy efficiency of household appliances. The Regulation also requires manufacturers to inform consumers if software or firmware updates could reduce a product's energy efficiency. It bans the use of 'defeat devices', which alter a product's performance under test conditions.
Manufacturers of items sold in EU countries are also required to follow Ecodesign legislation, which sets minimum standards for the environmental performance of products.
Energy Labelling Directive - Agreement on the revision between the EU institutions
21 months after the EC releases its proposal on the revision of the Energy labels, the Council, the European Parliament, and the Commission came to an agreement on 21 March 2017. The revised directive will return to the A-G scale, removing the A+ and A++ scale by late 2019/early 2020. Rescaling shall take place when 30% of products sold on the EU market fall into the top energy efficiency class A, or when 50% of these products fall into the top two energy efficiency classes A and B. A public product database with a compliance section and an online portal aims at supporting market surveillance authorities and provide consumers with additional information about the products will be developed. More information.
Final voting on prEN 16798-1: narrow disapproval
As we all can read from the new issue of REHVA Journal (1/2017), 29 EPB EN-standards of the total 31 have been approved. These standards passed the Formal Vote last week of January 2017 and will soon be published. FprEN 16798-3 is still on voting until early April 2017, and the Committee Vote on Technical Reports prCEN/TR 16798-2 and -4 will close in early March. Formal Vote on FprEN 16798-1 Energy performance of buildings. Part 1: Indoor environmental input parameters for design and assessment of energy performance of buildings addressing indoor air quality, thermal environment, lighting and acoustics closed on 9 February. In the weighted vote, 69% of the cast votes were positive, but 71% would have been needed to have the standard approved.
The CEN regulations give several options to proceed after a negative result. The Technical Committee in charge, in this case CEN/TC 156, will decide (by taking a decision) on one of several options, including:
- To submit a modified version of the FprEN to a second Formal Vote;
- To submit a modified version of the FprEN to a UAP (Unique Acceptance Procedure);
- To transfer the work to ISO within the framework of the Vienna Agreement, if appropriate.
In this case, the ISO option is interesting, because the technically nearly identical ISO 17772-1 has been approved in ISO voting, giving a possibility to adopt it as an EN ISO standard, with or without modifications. However, in any case the decision is now up to CEN/TC 156, who will have the next scheduled meeting in early May.
New CEN/CENELEC Working Group
CEN/CENELEC set up a joint working group on ‘Energy-related products - Material Efficiency Aspects for Ecodesign’ (CEN-CENELEC JWG 10, per Mandate 543 of the EC to develop a horizontal standard). The objective is to develop horizontal European standards to facilitate the implementation of resource efficiency requirements under the Ecodesign framework.
These standards should be generic with a view to being applicable to various types of products. this working group will define general parameters and methods for assessing durability, upgradability and ability to repair, re-use and re-manufacture products. It will also issue guides on how to use these standards for specific products.
New EC Energy Labelling proposal published
The European Commission released a summer package of energy policies including a legislative proposal for a framework regulation regarding energy labelling. When adopted, this new regulation will replace the current energy labelling framework directive 2010/30/EU. The major new proposed changes can be found in articles 7 and 8. The main changes are the following:
- Regulation instead of a directive, not requiring transposition by Member States
- Return to the single A-G energy labelling scale (no more A+++, A++, A+)
- Introduce a process for rescaling the existing labels
- The existing labels will be reviewed by the Commission within five years (after adoption of the proposal) with a view to rescaling them
- The rescaled labels will have empty top classes (A and B) and will be reviewed periodically (every 10 years).
- The introduction of a European product database.
- The proposal has been submitted to the European Parliament and the Council where it will be discussed in view of adoption. If adopted, it will impact on products subject to Energy Labelling and the development of regulations:
- Space heaters (811/2013)
- Water Heaters (812/2013)
- Room air conditioning (626/2011)
- Residential ventilation units (1254/2014)
- Professional refrigerated storage cabinets (2015/1094)
- The development of energy labelling for refrigerated display cabinets (ENER Lot 12)
- The Commission also proposed the creation of a new energy efficient product digital database to boost transparency and improve compliance with the rules.
European energy and environmental labels
The European Eco-label (EC 66/2010) is a voluntary scheme, established in 1992 to encourage businesses to market products and services that are kinder to the environment. Products and services awarded the Eco-label carry the flower logo, allowing consumers - including public and private purchasers - to identify them easily. In all Eco-label studies, a common and coherent methodology is used for analyzing environmental impacts and improvement potentials of the products and Eco-label options are analyzed from life cycle perspective.
Energy label ( based on recast of Directive 92/75/EEC COM(2008)778 ) provides consumers with useful and comparable information on the use of energy of household appliances, cars and light bulbs. It allows consumers to consider investing in better performing appliances which have reduced running costs and allow realizing savings which more than outweigh the difference in price. The energy labeling directive also helps manufacturers to position their products on the market and reap the benefits on their investments for introducing better and more innovative products.
Also buildings shall have an energy label. Based on Energy Performance of Buildings Directive the Energy Performance Certificates shall be made available when buildings are constructed, sold or rented out.
The European Energy Star Program is a voluntary energy labeling program for office equipment. The Energy Star logo helps consumers identify office equipment products that save them money and help protect the environment by saving energy. Office information and communication technology equipment (computers, monitors, printers, fax machines, copiers, scanners and multifunction devices) is responsible for a growing share of electricity consumption in the EU.
CE marking ensures the free movement within the European market of products that conform to the requirements of EU legislation (e.g. safety, health and environmental protection) and is a key indicator of a product’s compliance with legislation. The CE marking is affixed by manufacturers to their products. By placing CE marking on a product, manufacturers declare on their sole responsibility that the products comply with all the legal requirements in force in Europe. It is the manufacturer's responsibility to verify that the goods they are selling comply with all relevant legislation or – if necessary – to have it examined by notified conformity assessment body for that purpose.
In 2004, the European Commission initiated the Green Building Program (GBP). This program aims at improving the energy efficiency and expanding the integration of renewable energies in non-residential buildings in Europe on a voluntary basis. The program addresses owners of non-residential buildings to realize cost-effective measures which enhance the energy efficiency of their buildings in one or more technical disciplines.
Green Public Procurement (GPP) is a process whereby public authorities seek to procure goods, services and works with a reduced environmental impact throughout their life cycle when compared to goods, services and works with the same primary function that would otherwise be procured. GPP is a voluntary instrument, which means that individual Member States and public authorities can determine the extent to which they implement it.
EU Eco-labelling criteria and Green Public Procurements for Products
The European Eco-label covers an increasing number of product groups, taking in major areas of manufacturing and also tourist accommodation services. The criteria for each product group have been identified on the basis of comprehensive studies of the environmental aspects related to the entire life cycle of the product. These are normally valid for three years.
As an example, the following product groups have eco-label criteria and individual products can be found in the European Eco-label Catalogue, which helps European consumers to distinguish greener, more environmentally friendly products.
The eco-label and green public procurement criteria of several other product groups are currently devised. The purpose of these pilot projects are to develop a joint evidence base from which EU policy making in the area of various products can be developed. In addition, the evidence base will gather information and data to assist the potential future development of other environmental policy instruments such as Implementing Measures under the Ecodesign Directive.
EU Eco-label and Green Public Procurement for Buildings
The purpose is to develop an EU Eco-label for Buildings and Green Public Procurement criteria to promote an environmentally-friendlier public consumption. The Institute for Environmental Protection and Research, ISPRA got a mandate 2007 to devise the EU Eco-label and GGP criteria for Buildings. It consist on environmental criteria based on the environmental impacts of the building and consider different environmental aspects like indoor environment quality, water efficiency, waste reduction, energy efficiency, natural resource management, and environmental safety. The 3rd draft of an EU Eco-label for new buildings and existing buildings were published 2009.
Joint Research Centre of the European Commission has made an analysis and evaluation of the 3rd draft criteria for Buildings and published a report on October 2010, which summarize the most important points and provides for an analysis of the work done so far as well as a proposal for the next steps to be taken.
Update ! < July 2011 - Summary of the 1st AHWG Meeting : Summary 1st AHWG Meeting.pdf
The main purpose of this meeting was a discussion on the proposed criteria areas and not on the precise values or formulations of the criteria. The discussions at the 1st AHWG and the resulting feedback will form the input into development of the draft final criteria proposal for Ecolabel and GPP. This draft final will be discussed in the 2nd AHWG Meeting that is planned in November this year in Brussels. The coming steps are:
- Comments on the working paper prepared for the 1st AHWG meeting are welcome at any point but it would be better if they are sent by the end of July 2011
- 2nd AHWG meeting that will take place at the end of this year where the first draft of ecological criteria will be presented
- 3rd meeting will be probably necessary due to the complexity of the project > 04/08/2011