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Document 32009L0125

Eco-design for energy-using appliances

Eco-design for energy-using appliances

Establishing an EU-wide legal methodology for the eco-design* of energy-related products is efficient and consistent and prevents duplication or differences with voluntary or regulatory national initiatives.


Directive 2009/125/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 21 October 2009 establishing a framework for the setting of eco-design requirements for energy-related products



It establishes a framework for minimum eco-design requirements which goods that consume energy must meet before they can be used or sold in the EU. It does not apply to transport used to carry people or goods.


  • Eco-design requirements cover all stages of a product’s life: from raw materials, manufacturing, packaging and distribution to installation, maintenance, use and end-of life.
  • For each phase, various environmental aspects are assessed by bodies designated by EU countries. They verify aspects such as the materials and energy consumed, expected emissions and waste and possibilities for reuse, recycling and recovery.
  • Manufacturers must construct an ecological profile* of their products and use this to consider alternative design possibilities.
  • Products which satisfy the requirements bear the CE marking and may be sold anywhere in the EU.

Directive 2012/27/EU amended the 2009 legislation to further promote energy efficiency*. It requires national authorities to do the following.

  • Establish an indicative national energy efficiency target.
  • Approve a long-term strategy to renovate residential and commercial buildings.
  • Renovate, from 1 January 2014, 3 % of the total floor area of government-owned buildings.
  • Introduce energy efficiency obligation schemes to achieve an annual 1.5 % energy saving* by final customers between 1 January 2014 and 31 December 2020.
  • Submit large enterprises to an independent energy audit from 2016.
  • Ensure customers are billed on their actual consumption at least once a year.
  • Inform the Commission, by 31 December 2015, of the potential for efficient co-generation* and district heating and cooling*.

See also:


*Eco-design: the integration of environmental aspects into product design with the aim of improving the environmental performance of the product throughout its whole life cycle.

*Ecological profile: a description of the inputs and outputs (such as materials, emissions and waste) associated with a product throughout its life cycle which are significant from the point of view of their environmental impact. These inputs and outputs are expressed in physical quantities that can be measured.

*Energy efficiency: using less energy to provide the same service. Examples in terms of products are: energy-efficient fridges and washing machines.

*Energy saving: reducing or going without a service to save energy. Example: turning off a light.

*Co-generation: the simultaneous production of electricity and heat, both of which are used.

*District heating: a heating network that enables energy, which is often wasted in power generation or industrial processes, to be harnessed and delivered to a point of use.

*District cooling: the centralised production and distribution of cooling energy. The cold water pumped around the district cooling network is used to cool the air circulating in ventilation systems. The water is then fed back to the production plant to be cooled again.



Entry into force

Transposition in the Member States

Official Journal

Directive 2009/125/EC



OJ L 285, 31.10.2009, pp. 10-35

Amending act

Entry into force

Transposition in the Member States

Official Journal

Directive 2012/27/EU



OJ L 315, 14.11.2012, pp. 1-56

last update 25.08.2015