EU ENERGY STAR program

  1. Introduction
  2. ENERGY STAR Agreements between USA and EU
  3. Green Public Procurement

1. Introduction

ENERGY STAR is a leading labelling program in the field of energy efficiency. Manufacturers can participate in the ENERGY STAR program on a voluntary basis. Led by the US government agency EPA, ENERGY STAR is implemented in the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Taiwan. Products with ambitious requirements in terms of energy efficiency can be "labelled" with a specific logo. The requirements are initially set expecting that not more than 25% of products placed on the market at that moment can be awarded the label. This usually encourages competition and an increasing number of new products subsequently placed on the market can deserve the label. Once about 75% of products can satisfy the minimal requirements, a revision process is triggered and new specification requirements are set. Once the new requirements come in force, no product is allowed to show the label, unless it has been approved under the new specification levels. For products with a high innovation pace, such as electronic products, requirements are usually reviewed every 2-4 years.

Lacking any energy labelling measure on office equipment products, the EU has signed an Agreement for adoption of the ENERGY STAR in Europe (but limited to office equipment products as in the US the program covers a far wider scope of products, most of which are covered by EU Ecodesign and/or by Energy labelling measures).

The European Union (EU) entered into a formal agreement with the US in 2003, enabling it to be involved in setting common ENERGY STAR qualifying criteria.

The EU ENERGY STAR program is managed by the European Commission, DG Energy, and is overseen by the EU ENERGY STAR Board, with full representation of experts from all Member States. General procedures and the qualifying criteria for each product group are published in the Official Journal of the EU.

 

Products

The EU program has currently over a hundred registered program participants, including all large office equipment brands and many specialist suppliers that register directly with the EU. EU registration of relevant equipment sold in the EU is open to all manufacturers at no cost.

The EU ENERGY STAR program comprises of 5 main product groups with qualifying criteria: computers, displays, imaging equipment, UPS and enterprise servers, each subdivided in 2 to 5 subgroups. The EU database contains about 20 000 registered models (at end 2015). Each year around 7500 new models are registered, of which over 5600 through EPA (products registered in the US but for the EU market as well) and almost 1900 through the EU website (products placed on the EU market but not the US one). For each model, the database contains the relevant energy and performance specifications that can searched through pre-selection and sorting.

 

Impact

The EU, with over 500 million citizens and around 21 million enterprises, represents a total ICT-equipment market of 100-130 billion euros (footnote: 98 billion euros in Western Europe, in consumer prices, GfK TEMAX Q4 ’13-Q3 ’14).

The EU ENERGY STAR website attracts over 67 000 visits per year, 36% from outside the EU. As official reference for public procurement, the database attracts professional buyers.

A study procured by the Commission estimated that over the three-year period 2008-2010, the EU ENERGY STAR program succeeded in reducing EU electricity consumption by 11 TWh, greenhouse gas emissions by 3.7 Mt and the EU energy bill for office equipment by 1.8 billion euros. For the period until 2020, reductions of more than 30% with respect to a baseline scenario without ENERGY STAR or any other energy efficiency regulation at EU level had been envisaged.

 

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2. ENERGY STAR Agreements between USA and EU

First Agreement

As office equipment is traded world-wide, an initial Agreement [1] was signed December 2000 between the Government of the United States of America and the European Community intended to co-ordinate energy-efficient labelling programs for office equipment – computers, monitors, copiers, printers, scanners and fax machines – in the two markets. This first Agreement covered an initial period of five years.

Regulation 2422/2001 [2] adopted in November 2001 established the general rules and procedures for the implementation of the ENERGY STAR program in the Community, established the European Community ENERGY STAR Board (now European Union ENERGY STAR board or EUESB) [3], its interactions with other EU labelling programs or initiatives, and various other elements (national representatives, working plan, preparation of criteria, market surveillance) [4].

The Agreement was ratified by Council Decision 2003/269/EC [5], identifying the European Commission, assisted by the EUESB, to represent the EU.

Endorsement in the EU of specification levels commonly agreed and published in the US are established by Commission Decisions.


Second Agreement

The second EU-US ENERGY STAR Agreement for office equipment came into force in December 2006 and was valid for a second period of five years [6]. It took into account the experience of the first period of the program’s implementation, and contained new energy efficiency criteria. This second agreement was formally ratified by Council Decision 2006/1005/EC [7].
In 2008, Regulation (EC) No 106/2008 [8] on a Community energy-efficiency labelling program for office equipment was adopted. This Regulation required, inter alia, that EU institutions and central Member State government authorities, when purchasing office equipment, use energy efficiency criteria not less demanding than those defined in the ENERGY STAR program. The usual thresholds for public supply contracts apply.
In 2009 Commission Decision 2009/347/EC modified the imaging equipment specifications with respect to the Agreement.

 

Third Agreement

To improve the credibility of the labelling program, the US-EPA decided to introduce a third-party product testing as prerequisite for applying to the ENERGY STAR labelling. A third EU-US ENERGY STAR Agreement for office equipment was expected for 2011, but experienced delays due to diverging views on whether third party certification had to be required for certifications in the EU. A new agreement was signed in December 2012 and approved with Council Decision 2013/107/EU. Regulation 174/2013 extended the program for a further 5 years (until February 2018). This third agreement allows self-certification of products registered for the EU: however, the US does allow anymore the import of products labelled under the EU program.

Commission Decision 2014/202/EU, in force since May 2014, added two new product categories (servers and uninterruptible power supplies) and a revision of specifications for displays and imaging equipment.

Commission Decision 2015/1402/EU has updated the minimal specification for computers.

Summary of the specification levels and their adoptions in the EU:

Specification
Effective Date Reference

Computers specifications v6.1

07/09/2015

EUR-Lex link

Displays specifications v7.0

21/10/2016

EUR-Lex link

Imaging Equipment specifications v2.0

07/05/2014

EUR-Lex link

Uninterruptible Power Supplies specifications v1.0

07/05/2014

EUR-Lex link

Enterprise Servers specifications v2.0

07/05/2014

EUR-Lex link

 

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3. Green Public Procurement

Article 6 of Regulation EC No 106/2008 requires that all EU institutions and central Member State government authorities, for the award of public works contracts, public supply contracts and public service contracts, having a value equal to or greater than the thresholds laid down in Article 7 of Directive 2004/18/EC, set energy efficiency requirements not less demanding than those defined in the ENERGY STAR program. Depending on the specific procurement rules in each country, the labelling of the proposed products or a self-declaration confirming requirements not less demanding or a declaration by a third-party having tested the product may be accepted.

Article 6 of Directive 2012/27/EU [9] (the "Energy Efficiency Directive") has then extended purchasing rules by public bodies: where a product group is covered by an Energy labelling regulation, the highest energy efficiency class should be purchased. For office equipment products covered by the EU-US ENERGYSTAR agreement, criteria as in article 6 of the above mentioned Regulation EC No 106/2008 shall be used.

 

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References

[1] Agreement of 19 Dec 2000 between the Government of the United States of America and the European Community on the coordination of energy-efficient labelling programs for office equipment - Exchange of diplomatic Note. OJ L 172, 26.6.2001, p. 3 (ratified by Council Decisions 2003/269/EC and 2005/42/EC).

[2] Regulation (EC) No 2422/2001 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 6 November 2001 on a Community energy efficiency labelling program for office equipment.

[3] Commission Decision of 11 March 2003 establishing the European Community ENERGY STAR Board [2003/168/EC].

[4] OJ C 150 E, 30.5.2000, p. 73 and OJ C 180 E, 26.6.2001, p. 262.

[5] Council Decision 2003/269/EC of 8 April 2003 concerning the conclusion on behalf of the Community of the Agreement between the Government of the United States of America and the European Community on the coordination of energy-efficient labelling programs for office equipment (2003/269/EC).

[6] AGREEMENT between the Government of the United States of America and the European Community on the coordination of energy-efficiency labelling programs for office equipment, OJ L 381 of 28.12.2006, p. 26.

[7] Council Decision of 18 December 2006 concerning conclusion of the Agreement between the Government of the United States of America and the European Community on the coordination of energy-efficiency labelling programs for office equipment [2006/1005/EC].

[8] Regulation (EC) No 106/2008 of 15 January 2008 on a Community energy-efficiency labelling program for office equipment.

[9] Directive 2012/27/EU

 

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