Apart from the user's behaviour, there are two complementary ways of reducing the energy consumed by products: the labelling to raise the awareness of consumers and the energy efficiency requirements imposed to products on the design phase.
The production, distribution, use and end-of-life management of energy-related products (ErPs) is associated with important impacts on the environment, such as the consequences of energy and other materials/resources consumption, waste generation and release of hazardous substances. It is estimated that over 80% of all product-related environmental impacts are determined during the design phase of a product.
On 21 October 2009, the EU adopted the Directive 2009/125/EC on ecodesign. Ecodesign aims at reducing the environmental impact of products, including the energy consumption throughout their entire life cycle : Directive 2009/125/EC of 21 October 2009 establishing a framework for the setting of ecodesign requirements for energy-related products
It therefore makes no direct provision for mandatory requirements for specific products. This is done for given energy-related products via implementing measures: Overview of the legislation on Eco-design [70 KB]
These eco-design implementing measures are developed following consultations with interested parties. At the outset, a preparatory study will consider whether and which ecodesign requirements should be set for a particular product, recommending ways to improve its environmental performance: Preparatory studies for Eco-design and Energy Labeling legislation