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Energy smart appliances: next steps

Updated: Jul 28, 2022

We have long been engaged in developing the regulatory framework for (sustainable, circular) smart appliances, in particular for home gadgets. Our participation in Commission stockholder fora and regulatory working groups (LEVELs, GPP) has always been and continues to be a priority for us and some of our clients.

Designing a coherent policy framework for wide-scale deployment of energy-smart appliances is a difficult process. As a first steppingstone, a preliminary evaluation of the energy-smart appliances’ landscape was recently carried by the European Joint Research Centre (JRC). The assessment analyzes the techno-economic, socio-technical, and socio-economic aspects influencing the introduction of energy-smart appliances in the EU-wide market. And it comes out that the ideal energy-smart appliances policy framework should cover products’ full interoperability at both technical and organizational levels. To ensure interoperability from a technical standpoint, a certain degree of EU-wide coordination should be established when choosing the type of hardware and software used in each appliance.

Energy smart appliances are those appliances that can automatically respond to external stimuli by changing the appliance’s energy consumption patterns”.

More progress is needed by the EC to develop a coherent regulatory proposal for smart appliances under the ecodesign and energy labelling frameworks. As the technological readiness for manufacturing energy-smart appliances is high in the EU, the JRC recommends the EC to promote natural market convergence towards interoperable products. The EC could do so by building on the activities started under the InterConnect project (from the Horizon 2020 programme) e.g., continuing the efforts to include digital technologies based on open standards to guarantee interoperability between equipment, systems, and user data privacy.

To support the development of policy proposals for energy smart appliances the Directorate General of the Environment and Joint Research Centre are working on establishing a Code of Conduct for energy-smart appliances manufacturers. Industry actors can follow the developments and become part of the project’s co-design by registering to the EU Energy Efficiency legislation for energy smart appliances website.



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