2 October 2019 by Lucy Pegg

EU adopts new eco-design measures for electricals

The European Commission have adopted new eco-design measures in an effort to make electrical products last longer and reduce energy consumption in products sold across the EU.

The Ecodesign and Energy Labelling Package aims to reduce Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) by making it easier to repair electronic items, largely through making spare parts more available and easier to replace.

The new regulations aim to make it easier to repair products

It also focuses on increasing energy efficiency and is expected to deliver 167 TWh of final energy savings per year by 2030 – equivalent to the annual energy consumption of Denmark.

Jyrki Katainen, European Commission Vice-President for Jobs, Growth, Investment and Competitiveness, said: “Whether it is by fostering repairability or improving water consumption, intelligent eco-design makes us use our resources more efficiently, bringing clear economic and environmental benefits.”

Items regulated

The requirements cover a number of common household electrical items, as well as commercial or industrial products.

The items included are refrigerators, washing machines, dishwashers, electronic displays (including televisions), light sources and separate control gears, external power suppliers, electric motors, refrigerators with a direct sales function (such as fridges in supermarkets or vending machines), power transformers and welding equipment.

The package is part of implementing the ‘Energy efficiency first’ principle of the EU’s Energy Union priority. The policy applies to all products placed on the market in the EU, irrespective of where they were manufactured.


The announcement should ensure that electrical products last longer as they can be more easily repaired, thus reducing waste, the Commission claims.

Spare parts will have to be available for a longer period of time after purchase – for example, seven years minimum for refrigerating appliances and ten years minimum for household dishwashers.

Manufacturers must ensure that parts can be replaced with commonly available tools and without permanent damage to the appliance.

Chloé Fayole, programme and strategy director at the European Environmental Citizens Organization (ECOS) welcomed the package on behalf of the Coolproducts campaign, which works to ensure product policy benefits people and the planet.

“Giving Europeans the right to repair products they own is common sense, and we therefore welcome the decisions that the EU has made.”

Chloe Fayole, European Environmental Citizens Organization

“Ecodesign continues to be a European success story, in terms of energy savings and now repairability of products,” she said.

“Giving Europeans the right to repair products they own is common sense, and we therefore welcome the decisions that the EU has made.”

However Ugo Vallauri – policy lead of the Restart Project and a member of the newly formed Right to Repair campaign in Europe – said that whilst the policy was a “step in the right direction” it needed to go further.

He explained: “Next step will be to make spare parts and repair manuals available to all, not just professional repairers, and to extend repair provisions to many more products, starting with smartphones.”


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