The Ecodesign and Energy Labelling directives are very powerful tools; by removing the worst performing products from the market and encouraging “a race to the top” in terms of efficiency, they have helped transform the household product market over the last 15 years or so. However, due to the current process in which manufacturers’ claims of conformity with regulations is self-declared, there are sections of the market that do not meet their Energy Label declarations or Ecodesign limits which go undetected. It is estimated that this is the case for around 10–20% of energy-using products, corresponding to lost energy savings of as much as 100 TWh per year1.
The MarketWatch consortium conducted a product testing campaign with multiple aims, as follows:
- Identify suspected non-compliant products through data analysis and risk-based approaches
- Develop reduced cost ‘check’ test methods for further intelligence gathering
- Cover a significant section of the market to discover trends related to compliance of specific product types and legislation
- Fully test products to gain concrete evidence of products that fail to meet Energy Label claims and Ecodesign limits
- Request action from manufacturers and appointed national MSAs in the case of suspected non-compliance
- Work with industry to understand issues with compliance, interpretation of regulations and make recommendations
- Forge stronger relationships with Market Surveillance Authorities (MSAs) through liaison over test results
- Report findings factually, objectively and transparently
- Improve the ‘culture of compliance’ by establishing contact with industry and reporting results A program of 100 ‘check’ tests was carried out to provide intelligence for further testing.
Following this, 27 compliance tests were conducted to assess conformity with energy label claims and against Ecodesign limits.
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