With our ever changing environment and climate, comes the need to take better care of the limited resources we have available to us. You would have to have been living under a rock to not know that one of the biggest concerns our planet has is our dwindling source of energy supplies. To this end several policies have been implemented globally to take care of what we have now in a bid to reduce consumption wherever possible of our precious reserves.
The idea of using less energy to power our equipment is not a new one. However with the talk of an “energy crisis” looming in our not too distant future, governments have set aggressive targets for the reduction in energy use and carbon emissions in a bid to keep the lights turned on for our future generation and protect our fragile planet.
Let’s start with Europe. The EU Directive on Energy using Products (EuP) introduced a framework for the minimum energy efficiency requirements for energy use products, intended to be imported or sold in in the EU. In 2009 this Directive was revised to cover both energy use products and products that do not directly use energy but have an impact on energy use for example water saving taps or windows. The EuP Directive has now been replaced by the ErP (Energy-related Product) Directive or the EcoDesign Directive, 2009/125/EC.
So what does all this mean in the grand scheme of things? In 2012, the EU launched an aggressive campaign to reduce the overall energy consumption by 20% by the year 2020. The ErP or EcoDesign Directive plays a huge role in ensuring that this target is achieved and beyond that institute further improvements in energy efficiency. It is a mandatory requirement for all manufacturers to consider this Directive and if an implementing measure exists for your product comply with the requirements to be eligible to affix the CE marking to your product. For a list of products covered under the ErP Directive visit Products covered and their status in the ErP process.
Products complying with the ErP Directive are usually identified by an energy label in compliance with the Energy Labelling Directive (Directive 2010/30/EU), which provides information on energy consumption and ecodesign requirements. Correctly labelling products enables the consumer make smart choices about more energy efficient models at the time of purchasing. As a consumer myself, I am more likely to purchase a product with a good energy efficiency rating (usually A+++ which is the most efficient performing), as this directly relates to savings on my electricity bill. Therefore having a product design that considers the lifetime energy use and having the correct energy labelling on your product about its energy efficiency performance is bound to make it more attractive to your prospective customers.
Look out for my next article where I will cover the implications of not considering the ErP Directive before placing your product on the market.