There is no need to worry – the legislative process will be basically the same for the new Energy-related Products directive as it has been for Energy-using Products. But the scope of the ecodesign requirements may be altered, according to experts on legislation.
The new ecodesign directive will just add new products to the list of those regulated in the EuP. From now on, ecodesign requirements will be limited for not only energy-using products, says Anita Aspegren, in charge of energy efficiency in products at the Swedish Energy Agency.
As the directive has just been amended, the staff at the Energy Agency can only comfort those who call to hear about how the changes affect their products.
No clash to expect
But there is no clash to be expected between the old EuP directive and its new version which Anita Aspegren refers to as the Energy-related Products directive. The products about to take effect in Implementing Measures will not simply vanish into thin air. The big difference will be in the range of products covered by the legislation, she explains.
“What we can expect is that the design of products will be affected by requirements that relate to waste and we may even see regulation on substance content too”, says Anita Aspegren.
Impact on energy consumption
Her colleague, Lovisa Blomqvist, executive officer for ecodesign at the Swedish Energy Agency, agrees that this change makes room for new kinds of regulations within the directive’s framework.
“The directive is extended to cover products which have an impact on energy consumption, like taps or windows”, says Lovisa Blomqvist.
She does not believe that the electronics industry will be affected immediately. More so, then it may affect suppliers of construction components.
Same working plans
The Commission will basically use the method as before. The difference is in the first step; the appointment of a product to be the focus of further studies for possible regulation.
A consulting group will evaluate the product from a range of environmental aspects in a preparatory study and publish an analysis. They look at the product from all aspects and suggest measures. This is where there might be a change, suggests Lovisa Blomqvist.
“So far, the focus has been to limit the products’ energy consumption. And this is correct so, because energy is used during such long periods of time, in the lifecycle of a product whereas waste is a one-time occasion.”
But there may be other things regulated by the directive. Since regulating energy-using products basically circulates around limiting voltage and wattage, energy-related products may also be regulated as regards dismantling, toxic content, and end-of-life like waste.
“There is an enormous amount of information about the products in the web sites for each study. The Swedish Energy Agency keeps track of what is issued from the EU, but checking these web sites is a good way to keep track of what is happening,” says Lovisa Blomqvist.
But there is no need to rush things. Before the new directive will become law, the same process as with EuP will grind the proposals. And then, member states have to implement it into national law.