The Ecodesign Directive 2009/125/EC establishes a framework for the establishment of eco design requirements on Energy related Products (ErP) addressing all environmental aspects from a life cycle perspective. Furthermore, the legislation removes the least performing products from the market. Products are generally separated into different ‘product groups’ or ‘lots’. Examples of such energy related products include boilers and space heaters, motors, pumps, air conditioning and ventilation systems or machine tools.
The directive empowers the Commission to adopt implementing measures via comitology. First, an external consortium or the Joint Research Center conduct a preparatory study analysing different elements within the MEErP detailing policy options. Afterwards, the Commission presents a draft proposal to the Consultation Forum – the group of relevant stakeholders including Member states representatives. Based on the input from the Consultation Forum and the impact assessment, the Commission submits the draft regulation for inter-service consultation amongst the different Commission directorates that would be affected. Subsequently the measure is submitted to the Regulatory Committee (formed by representatives of the member states) and is notified to the World Trade Organisation. Following the Regulatory Committee’s approval, the measure is sent to the European Parliament and the Council for scrutiny. Once it is adopted by the Parliament and Council the measure is published in the Official Journal of the EU.
A targeted product group may submit a voluntary agreement as an alternative to ecodesign measures. These agreements need to fulfil the criteria outlined in the ecodesign directive and need to be recognised by the European Commission. The Commission issued in 2016 a series of guidelines for developing voluntary agreements.
The initial directive included a list of product groups to be addressed in 2010. The Commission is required to establish periodic Working Plans that include indicative lists of priority product groups for which to develop implementing measures. The latest working plan covers the period 2016-2019. The next working plan is currently under development.