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Ecodesign for energy-using appliances

This summary has been archived and will not be updated, because the summarised document is no longer in force or does not reflect the current situation.

Ecodesign for energy-using appliances

Ecodesign is a new concept aimed at reducing energy consumption by products such as household electrical appliances. Information concerning the product's environmental performance and energy efficiency must be visible if possible on the product itself, thus allowing consumers to compare before purchasing.


Directive 2005/32/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 6 July 2005 establishing a framework for the setting of ecodesign requirements for energy-using products and amending Council Directive 92/42/EEC and Directives 96/57/EC and 2000/55/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council [see Amending acts].


The framework directive defines the principles, conditions and criteria for setting environmental requirements for energy-using appliances (ecodesign *).

It therefore makes no direct provision for mandatory requirements for specific products; this will be done at a later stage for given products via implementing measures which will apply following consultations with interested parties and an impact assessment.


In principle, the framework directive applies to all energy-using products that are placed on the market. It also covers parts that are intended to be incorporated into products that are placed on the market as individual parts for end-users, the environmental performance of which can be assessed independently.

All energy sources are covered, in particular electricity and solid, liquid and gaseous fuels.

It applies to all products placed on the EU market and to imported products.

Means of transport (vehicles) for people or goods are excluded.

Placing on the market and CE marking

The implementing measures will set out the conformity attestation procedure for products subject to ecodesign requirements (generally self-declaration by the manufacturer with no third-party intervention); CE marking is required for a presumption of conformity.

Priority products under the Directive

The Directive will be applied to the following product groups as a matter of priority:

  • heating and water heating equipment;
  • electric motors;
  • lighting in the residential and tertiary sectors;
  • domestic appliances;
  • office equipment in the residential and tertiary sectors;
  • consumer electronics;
  • HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) systems.

These product groups are considered to be priorities under the European programme on climate change (EPCC). By optimising cost-effectiveness, which benefits the consumer, they contribute to a reduction in emissions of greenhouse gas.

Responsibility of the manufacturer or importer

The manufacturer or authorised representative or, in their absence, the importer is responsible for guaranteeing that the product complies with the relevant implementing measures. They must keep the EC declaration of conformity and the technical data on the appliance.

Consumer information

Under the implementing measures, the manufacturer may be required to inform the consumer of:

  • the characteristics and environmental performance of the product;
  • how to minimise the environmental impact when using the product.

Small and medium-sized enterprises

The development of European programmes will take account of the initiatives directed at small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and microenterprises to improve energy efficiency in the design of their products. The Member States will also encourage this type of business to adopt an environmentally sound approach through their support structures and networks.


The framework directive stems from the combination of two Commission initiatives: one on the impact on the environment of electrical and electronic equipment ("EEE" working document), and the other on the energy-efficiency requirements for end-use equipment.

The Directive is a concrete example of how the principles of the integrated product policy (IPP) are applied. It demonstrates the Commission’s determination to take account of environmental aspects in enterprise policies, and takes account of the objectives of the Sixth Community Environment Action Programme and the Commission Communication on industrial policy in an enlarged Europe.

Key terms used in the act

  • Ecodesign: the integration of environmental aspects to into product design with the aim of improving the environmental performance of the energy-using product throughout its life cycle.



Entry into force

Deadline for transposition in the Member States

Official Journal

Directive 2005/32/EC



OJ L 191 of 22.7.2005

Amending act(s)

Entry into force

Deadline for transposition in the Member States

Official Journal

Directive 2008/28/EC



OJ L 81 of 20.3.2008


Proposal for a Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 July 2008 establishing a framework for the setting of ecodesign requirements for energy related products [COM(2008) 399 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

The aim of this Proposal is to recast the framework Directive 2005/32/EC in order to incorporate the amendments introduced by Directive 2008/28/EC and to extend its scope to all energy related products, i.e. all goods having an effect on energy consumption during their use. The new Directive will form the ‘cornerstone’ of an integrated and sustainable environmental policy relating to these products.

Commission Decision of 30 June 2008 on the Ecodesign Consultation Forum [2008/591/EC – Official Journal L 190 of 18.7.2008].

This Decision defines the tasks, composition and operating procedures of the Ecodesign Consultative Forum established in accordance with Article 18 of Directive 2005/32/EC. The Forum shall be responsible for giving opinions in relation to the elaboration and the amendment of the working plan (provided for in Article 16 of Directive 2005/32) which is to draw up an indicative list of the product groups which will be regarded as having priority for the adoption of implementing measures. It shall also advise the Commission on questions related to the implementation of the Directive. The Forum shall comprise up to 60 members composed of one representative from each Member State of the European Union (EU), one representative from each Member State of the European Economic Area (EEA) and up to 30 representatives of interested parties concerned by the product or products in question. Members shall be appointed by the Commission for a three-year renewable term of office.

Three directives are considered to be implementing measures for the framework directive:

Council Directive 92/42/EC of 21 May 1992 on efficiency requirements for new fired with liquid or gaseous fuels [Official Journal L 167 of 22.6.1992];

Directive 96/57/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 3 September 1996 on energy efficiency requirements for household electric refrigerators, freezers and combinations thereof [Official Journal L 236 of 18.9.1996] and

Directive 2000/55/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 18 September 2000 on [Official Journal L 279 of 1.11.2000].

See also

To learn more about eco-design, visit the pages on energy-using products on the website of the Directorate-General for Enterprise and Industry.

Further information:

Last updated: 13.10.2008