Monday, April 27, 2009

The European Union Sets a New Standard

Photo via DELERI Click here for a map of the European countries forming the European Union.

The European Union has agreed to set environmental standards on “energy-related” household goods. This bold move could lead into a ban on the sale of products that aren’t energy efficient.

Import items that directly affect energy consumption such as showerheads and windows will now need to meet an energy-efficiency standard before they can be sold in the European Union.

An environmental standard had already been set by the EU (2005); but, it covered electronic devices, heating equipment and electrical equipment. That definition has been modified to include all “energy-related” goods. Items such as windows and showerheads make obvious sense; but, this will also include items we may not immediately associate as being one of the “energy-related” goods.

From Bloomberg:

The European Parliament approved a draft law expanding 2005 legislation on the ecological design of energy-using products to cover goods that have an indirect effect on power consumption. Water-using items such as taps are covered because hot water requires energy.

This initiative is being put in place in an effort to reduce energy consumption across the EU while possibly improving energy efficiency by 20% by 2020.

Again, from Bloomberg:

This will “provide consumers with more efficient, more reliable and longer-lasting products,” said Magor Imre Csibi, a Romanian member who steered the measure through the 27-nation EU assembly today in Strasbourg, France. Governments have already signaled their support under a fast-track accord with the Parliament, making their final approval a formality in the coming weeks.

The bloc is trying to prevent its 50 percent dependency on energy imports from rising to 65 percent in 2030. They are also hoping to reduce emissions of gases such as carbon dioxide; one of the greenhouse gases being blamed for global warming and produced mainly by energy use.

The Brussels-based regulatory arm of the EU feels that approximately 1/3 of the energy used in buildings could be saved by 2030 through adoption such modifications as eco-design standards.

Readers: Thoughts on whether we need to be legislated into saving our own lives through measures such as EU proposes…

1 comment:

kathi said...

I appreciate you posting this and would like to know more, from the European POV, about these issues. Our media reports are very different then what I've seen/heard/read when in other countries.