Agoria regularly reports on adjustments within the Ecodesign and Energy labelling regulations. Below you can find the answers on the most frequest asked questions on how the regulation works.

What is Ecodesign and Energy labelling regulation?

The objective of Ecodesign and Energy labelling regulation is to improve the energy efficiency of products in order to save energy and resources. This is realised through a phase-out of poorly performing products on the market (Ecodesign), the facilitation of a comparison of products (Energy label) and the reward of the best performing models (Ecolabel). These three instruments operate as follows:

  • Ecodesign regulation indicates the minimum energy efficiency requirements per productgroup;

  • Energy labelling regulation offers insight into the position of the product through a set scaling

  • Ecolabel is a certification system for products with a low environmental impact (voluntary, mainly household products)

Together the three instruments aim to stimulate innovation in energy-efficient production (see Figure 1).

Figure 1: Cooperation of the Ecodesign instruments to stimulate innovation 

How do I know if my products are subject to Ecodesign or Energy labelling regulation?

To decide whether products are subject to Ecodesign or Energy labelling regulation, it is necessary to look both at the scope in the general framework and the product specific regulation. The product specific regulation can be found per product group or 'lot'. The general definition can be retrieved from the Ecodesign Directive 2009/125/EC and the Energy labelling Regulation (EU) 2017/1369. Both definitions refer to the concept of 'placing on the market'; this describes the moment that a product is place on the European market apart from the type of transaction (e.g. B2B of B2C). The exact definition of 'placing on the market' can be found in the European Blue Guide

What should I do in case my product is subject to Ecodesign or Energy labelling regulation?

Firstly it is necessary to make sure that the products comply with the Ecodesign and Energy labelling requirements. This refers to taking timely preparations to make sure that the products for the Union market are in line with the minimal energy efficiency requirements or are provided with the correct Energy label. The regulation always includes a phasing with specific deadlines (for example: per January 1st 2019 product group X complies with minimum energy efficiency index Y). The idea of this phasing is to provide manufacturers and suppliers with ample time to adjust to the requirements without serious financial implications. Therefore it is always important to already check at the moment of publication of a new or revised regulation which deadlines are included. It is always the final responsibility of the manufacturer or supplier to comply with European regulation and adjust the business operations accordingly. In Belgium the responsibility for market surveillance lies with the FPS Economy and FPS Environment. 

How can I read Ecodesign and Energy labelling regulation?

Although the demands in the Ecodesign and Energy labelling regulation per product group can differ, there are a few recurring elements in all documents:

  • 'Article X Entry into force': this section provides the date on which the complete document enters into force

  • Phasing with deadlines: These are the dates on which the requirements take effect. These are usually included as a specific article in the main document and refer to an annex with the exact requirements. The exact wording of the title to the article in which these dates are included can differ per product group, but usually it refers to something like: 'Article X Ecodesign requirements';

  • 'Article X Revision': This article decribes the eventual dates by which an evaluation of the regulation has to have been conducted by the European Commission. This can result in a revision of the regulation.

It is the responsibility of the manufacturer or supplier to take the necessary preparations to adjust their production to the set Ecodesing and Energy labelling requirements. 

Wat is a revision (or preparation) of Ecodesign or Energy labelling regulation?

Within the Ecodesign and Energy labelling regulation it is possible to more or less distinguish two important phases; the published regulation and the lobby phase. Published Ecodesign and Energy labelling regulation is mandatory in the entire European Union and always includes a set moment on which the regulation needs to be revised. This is the moment where the lobby phase starts. A revision serves to see whether the set Ecodesign or Energy labelling regulation needs to be adjusted for a next period. It can lead to an adjustment of, reconfirmation of or supplementation to the regulation. The process includes always multiple stakeholder consultations to achieve realistic requirements and phasing (see Figure 2). Participation in a revision trajectory is not mandatory, but it is the moment for the industry to provide their feedback on the feasibility of the requirements.

Figure 2: Overview of the stakeholder consultations (*) in the Ecodesign and Energy labelling revision- or preparation proces (Source: European Commission) 

What is the difference between the role of Agoria and the European federations in the revision proces?

Both Agoria and the European federations represent the voice of the manufacturers and suppliers in the revision or preparation proces of Ecodesign and Energy labelling regulation. Usually Agoria will provide feedback on behalf of the Belgian industry to the European federations of which Agoria is a member (see Figure 3). The European federations will use this input in their direct discussions with the European Commission or during the European stakeholder consultations (see orange * in figure 2). Depending on the importance of a dossier Agoria can also decide to directly participate in the European stakeholder consultations. Finally, Agoria can be asked by the Belgian federal government to provide advice on a voting of revised or new Ecodesign and Energy labelling regulation (see blue * in Figure 2). In case of a need of specific adjustments or remarks on the proposals for regulation, please contact us so we can find the best way for communicating these points to the right persons or organisations.

Figure 3: Overview memberships Agoria to European federations 

Why do the discussions on Ecodesign regulation sometimes included material efficiency?

Next to the product specific revisions, there are regular evaluations of the Ecodesign and Energy labelling general framework. This can lead for example to the creation of a new Energy labelling database (EPREL) in the case of the revision of the Energy labelling Regulation (EU) 2017/1369 last year. One of the new developments within the Ecodesign Directive is the addition of requirements for material efficiency. For this purpose CEN-CENELEC created a 'Joint Working Group' (JWG/JTC 10) to prepare a number of horizontal European standards. These standards describe the basic principles for the adoption of material efficiency within these product groups, such as life span, reuse of parts and the recycling of materials. Material efficiency is already being included in a number of ongoing revisions, such as the product group for local space heaters on gaseous and liquid fuels (ENER lot 20). 

Ecodesign session at R&S 2018: ask questions to one of the European federations and Agoria experts

On October 25th Maitane Olabarria Uzquiano (CECIMO) and Helen Versluys (Agoria) will be present at the R&S event 2018 to explain the activities of Agoria within the Ecodesign and Energy labelling development process. Maitane will focus on the role of European federations and the cooperation with Agoria. Helen will further explain the material efficiency developments and the role of Agoria within these developments.