Power transformers are devices used in electricity transmission and distribution networks to overcome differences between primary (input) and secondary (output) voltage. For example, in a country where systems are 220 volt, a step-down transformer is needed to work a 110-volt appliance. And a step-up transformer is needed when primary input is lower than the voltage of the appliance.

Ecodesign requirements

Rules on ecodesign mainly cover minimum energy efficiency levels of transformers with a minimum power rating of 1 kVA that are used in 50 Hz electricity networks or in industrial applications. 

The original Regulation on ecodesign requirements for power transformers (EU) No 548/2014 has pushed the transformers market in the EU to manufacture more efficient models and reduce lifecycle costs. 

From November 2019, the original regulation is amended by Regulation (EU) 2019/1783. This regulation introduces targeted concessions from the minimum efficiency requirements applicable in Tier 2 from July 2021 and clarifies several provisions in the original regulation. 

Energy savings

Using more energy efficient transformers should lead to energy savings of an estimated 16 TWh per year after 2020. This is equivalent to 3.7 million tons less of CO2 being emitted each year, or half of Denmark’s total annual electricity consumption (32 TWh).