The European Commission is consulting on possible extensions to the regulation of tertiary lighting, which includes office and street lights, to improve its energy efficiency.
Initial standards were agreed under the EU Ecodesign Directive last year and revised shortly after, but the commission believes more can be done (ENDS Report 404, p 44). Tertiary lighting in the EU consumed 200 terawatt hours of electricity in 2005 and this is expected to rise to 222TWh by 2020, making even small efficiency savings worth pursuing, the commission says in its consultation paper.1
Further ecodesign standards, focusing on luminaires rather than lamps and ballasts, could improve their efficiency by
15%-20%, it believes. Luminaires are systems incorporating a source of light (lamp), casings, reflectors, power control systems (ballasts) and connections to the mains. They are difficult to tackle because of the range of luminaires involved and the effect on building owners reliant on older lighting systems.
Another option addresses lighting systems’ design and installation, which are as important as the energy efficiency of the equipment itself, says the commission. The lighting industry suggests an extra 40% of energy could be saved by fully optimising design.
One approach might be to cap the energy that can be used to light a one metre square area over a year, says the commission. But this would have to be done through other measures, as the ecodesign system is aimed at manufacturers and importers rather than lighting designers and installers.
Meanwhile, ecodesign requirements for washing machines, dishwashers and some fans are awaiting formal adoption after approval by a committee of member state experts in May and June. The European Parliament has three months to scrutinise them before they are formally adopted.
Under the washing machine rules all products must have a 20ºC wash option within three years and meet new water efficiency standards. They must also meet the ‘A’ energy label standard by 2011 and the ‘A+’ standard by 2013. Normal dishwashers must meet their A and A+ standards by the same dates, but there are extended deadlines for slim-line machines.
The next batch of products due before the regulatory committee includes electric pumps, domestic air conditioning and boilers and water heaters.