Court of Auditors 2020 Special Report no. 01: EU action on Ecodesign and Energy Labelling: important contribution to greater energy efficiency reduced by significant delays and non-compliance
1. The European Court of Auditors (ECoA) has produced an audit assessing whether the European Union’s (EU) actions on Ecodesign and Energy Labelling have contributed effectively towards achieving energy efficiency and environmental objectives. Ecodesign legislation sets minimum energy performance standards and requirements relating to the protection of the environment for energy-related products ranging from washing machines to data servers. Energy Labelling helps consumers to make informed choices by providing information on energy consumption and environmental performance through a comparative scale from A (most efficient) to G (least efficient).
2. The ECoA’s report assessed whether the European Commission (EC) effectively managed regulatory processes; carried out adequate monitoring and reporting; oversaw and supported market surveillance; and whether EU support led to a sustainable improvement in market surveillance for Ecodesign and Energy Labelling.
3. The report focuses on two areas, the EC management of the regulatory process and market surveillance.
Management of regulatory process
4. The report stated that:
• Existing implementing measures (covering around 30 product groups) cover most of the products with the highest energy-saving potential.
• Processes to establish product-specific regulation were lengthy and faced avoidable delays.
• Adopting measures as a package could mean that measures for product groups that are ready to be regulated are not introduced when ready, causing further delays. This could reduce the effectiveness of the policy as requirements become outdated and can result in missed opportunities to exploit potential energy efficiency savings.