Brussels to tighten ‘standby’ rules

Brussels to tighten ‘standby’ rules

News |
By Wisse Hettinga

The EU Commission adopted new EU rules to reduce the energy consumption of electrical appliances

Most electric appliances continue to use electricity even when turned off or in ‘standby’ mode. Since 2008 the EU has had in place internal market rules setting minimum efficiency requirements. These rules were updated in 2013 to cover the standby of network-connected devices (‘networked standby’). That regulation covers a very large number of different products (around 800 million products sold yearly, with an estimated 5 billion units in use across the EU).

The revised rules introduce a number of amendments to the EU’s 2008 Ecodesign regulation on standby, off mode and networked standby, last updated in 2013, following an extensive consultation exercise and scrutiny from the European Parliament and EU states.

The EU executive says the changes take account of technological and market developments in recent years and extend the scope of the rules, for example now including products with a low voltage external power supply such as small network equipment (including Wi-Fi routers and modems) or wireless speakers.

By requiring reduced electricity consumption of products when they are in low power mode, the Commission estimates that annual energy savings of 4 TWh will be generated by 2030 – which amounts to an annual CO2 saving of 1.36 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent. This is expected to also benefit consumers by reducing their bills, with total savings for consumers estimated at €530 million a year by 2030.

Information on standby, off mode and networked standby power consumption as well as on the time needed for the product to reach automatically one of these modes is to be made more easily accessible to consumers.

Manufacturers now have a transition period of two years until these new rules apply.


Find the new regulations here


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