Energy Using Products directive


The Energy Using Products (EUP) Directive aims to reduce the environmental impact caused during the manufacture, use and disposal of a very wide range of products. Technically it applies to all energy using products (except vehicles for transport), but because it is a new directive the necessary supporting legislation has only been completed for a small number of product groups to date.

Supporting legislation is required because the EuP Directive is a framework directive only. Although it applies to all EuPs it does not actually contain any specific requirements itself, but rather it contains general requirements and lays out a standard format and rules for specific Implementing Measures to be created for each product group. The Implementing Measures that will be created will thus be specific to clear product groups and allow the fundamental aims of the EuP Directive to be applied sensibly and in a much quicker time frame than if the Directive itself attempted to cover all avenues and be updated with every technological advance.

Manufacturers and importers are required to ensure their products meet the requirements of the EuP and any Implementing Measures that apply to their products. This includes designing and constructing their products in compliance with eco-design requirements, ideally using any harmonised standards existing for the products, carrying out appropriate conformity assessments, creating a technical file and Declaration of Conformity, and affixing the CE marking.


Directive 2005/32/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council, of 6 July 2005, establishing a framework for the setting of ecodesign requirements for energy-using products and amending Council Directive 92/42/EEC and Directives 96/57/EC and 2000/55/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council, published in Official Journal L191, 22 July 2005.

The Ecodesign for Energy-Using Products Regulations 2007, transposing the EuP Directive and amending the other Directives 92/42/EEC, 96/57/EC and 2000/55/EC, came fully into force in the UK on 11 August 2007. The amended Directives became implementing measures for the purposes of the EuP Directive. Directive 2008/28/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 March 2008 amending the previous EuP Directive and the implementing powers conferred on the Commission regarding the other above Directives came into force on 21 March 2008.


The EuP Directive was created to provide coherent rules for eco-design across the European Union. As with all other CE marking Directives, this legislation ensures that national regulations of Member States are aligned such that potential barriers to intra-EU trade are removed.

‘Eco-design’ aims at reducing the environmental impact of products, including the energy consumption throughout their entire life cycle. The production, distribution, use and end-of-life management of energy using products have significant negative effects on the environment. These effects include the used energy, released waste materials and released hazardous substances during the extraction, processing and transporting of raw materials and the finished product, the energy used by the product during its active life, and the waste products and energy used when the product is correctly disposed of. According to the European Commission ‘it is estimated that 80% of all product-related environmental impacts are determined during the design phase of a product’. Thus, by legislating for eco-design at the initial stages of product design, the energy consumed through the entire life cycle of energy using products should be considerably lower.

The Directive itself is a ‘framework directive’, so its actual purpose is to lay down the general principles of eco-design and to define conditions and criteria for setting further, specific, requirements. These further requirements can then be researched and tailored to specific product groups and published relatively quickly, and they will relate to environmentally relevant product characteristics, such as energy consumption. The specific requirements will be published as ‘Implementing Measures’.


In principle the Directive applies to all energy using products (except vehicles for transport) and covers all energy sources. However, as the Directive is only a framework directive, there is nothing for products to actually be designed in accordance with until specific implementing measures are published for them. As with other CE marking directives, it applies to all products placed on the EU market and to imported products.

When it was published, the EuP Directive amended three existing Directives so they became implementing measures of the Directive. These relate to:

• Ballasts for fluorescent lighting (Directive 2000/55/EC) (since repealed, see below)

• Household electric refrigerators, freezers and combinations thereof (Directive 96/57/EC)

• Hot-water boilers fired with liquid or gaseous fuels (Directive 92/42/EEC)

Since then the following products have had implementing measures adopted and so are now also covered by the EuP:

• Standby and off mode electric power consumption of household and office equipment

Commission Regulation (EC) No. 1275/2008 of 17 December 2008 implementing Directive 2005/32/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council with regard to ecodesign requirements for standby and off mode electric power consumption of electrical and electronic household and office equipment.

• Simple set-top boxes

Commission Regulation (EC) No. 107/2009 of 4 February 2009 implementing Directive 2005/32/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council with regard to ecodesign requirements for simple set-top boxes.

• Non-directional household lamps

Commission Regulation (EC) No. 244/2009 of 18 March 2009 implementing Directive 2005/32/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council with regard to ecodesign requirements for non-directional household lamps.

• Fluorescent lamps, high intensity discharge lamps and ballasts and luminaires able to operate such lamps

Commission Regulation (EC) No. 245/2009 of 18 March 2009 implementing Directive 2005/32/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council with regard to ecodesign requirements for fluorescent lamps without integrated ballast, for high intensity discharge lamps, and for ballasts and luminaires able to operate such lamps, and repealing Directive 2000/55/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council.

• External power supplies

Commission Regulation (EC) No. 278/2009 of 6 April 2009 implementing Directive 2005/32/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council with regard to ecodesign requirements for no-load condition electric power consumption and average active efficiency of external power supplies.

More products are to be incorporated in the near future and are currently under review by the European Commission (see Future Developments section below). Although technically products with any energy source are covered by the Directive, the initial priority is to legislate for products using electricity or fuels.


The EuP Directive is structured like the other New Approach directives, with design requirements and administrative requirements. When an implementing measure applies to a manufacturer’s products, the manufacturer must discharge the following obligations:

• Assess the environmental aspects and impacts of the products

• Design and construct the products in compliance with eco-design requirements

• Possibly use harmonised standards and eco-labels for presumption of conformity

• Carry out an appropriate conformity assessment (generally this is self-assessment)

• Affix the CE mark.

The ecodesign requirements contained within each implementing measure are either ‘generic’ or ‘specific’ requirements. The generic requirements are aimed at improving the overall environmental performance, focussing on environmental aspects identified in the implementing measure. The specific requirements are presented in the implementing measure in the form of limit values or thresholds for selected environmental aspects with a significant adverse impact on the environment. As the requirement details are specifically created for each product type, the best place to look for the ones that apply to your products are in the relevant implementing measures themselves (in Annex I) - use the links above.

Although no standards currently exist for the EuP Directive, when they are published in the Official Journal of European Union then they may be used as benchmarks by manufacturers to give a presumption of conformity with the requirements of the EuP itself.

Conformity assessment is generally by means of self-assessment, where the manufacturer is required to draw up technical documentation and accompanying test reports in support of the declaration of conformity they are required to make. The required information is specified in the annexes of the appropriate implementing measures - see the links in the previous section above. Alternatively, if a company has an environmental management system which takes the product design and environmental performance adequately into account, and the eco-design requirements of the applicable implementing measures are complied with, this can be used to demonstrate conformity instead.

The actual Declaration of Conformity must refer to the appropriate implementing measure, along with the usual information required for a Declaration of Conformity. All technical documentation must be maintained for 10 years and delivered to a competent authority who has requested it at 10 days notice.

Enforcement and penalties

Responsibility for the enforcement of the EuP Directive currently rests with Trading Standards Officers in the UK, though a current UK consultation is open (until 4 Sept 2009) to discuss the future of EuP market surveillance, enforcement regulations and increased enforcement options. This is in part due to the legislative requirement for Member States to appoint a suitable Market Surveillance Authority (MSA) from January 2010, who have appropriate powers to carry out their roles effectively in dealing with certain New Approach Directives. The consultation document states the government’s preferred option is to transfer the responsibility for the enforcement of the requirements on manufacturers to a dedicated team in an existing central Government Body or Agency (such as the National Measurement Office or the Vehicle Certification Agency).

The EuP Directive states that ‘the Member States shall determine the penalties applicable to breaches of the national provisions adopted pursuant to this Directive. The penalties shall be effective, proportionate and dissuasive, taking into account the extent of non-compliance and the number of units of non-complying products placed on the Community market’. However, in the UK the only sanctions currently available to the MSA are criminal, with a maximum fine of £5000 in the Magistrates Court, and for all offences. This is also under review in the current consultation document, in which a system is proposed that details specific offences and a system for delivering proportionate penalties - both monetary and in the form of Compliance Notices and similar.

Future Developments

The EuP Directive is not only a new CE marking directive, but forms a critical part of the European Commission’s environmental legislation canon. As such, it is currently a very hot topic and massive amounts of work are currently in progress to bring out effective, well-researched and coherent supporting documentation, mainly in the form of implementing measures. A current list of the existing legislation resultant from the EuP Directive can be found on Europa’s web page on Eco-design.

Although the Directive applies in principal to most energy using products, the EC has stated that it will initially seek to legislate for products which represent a significant volume of sales (>200,000 units/year), involve a significant environmental impact and present a significant potential for improvement. The following table summarises the current timetable for the EuP Directive and Energy Labelling Directive implementing measures:


The enforcement penalties are also currently under review, with UK consultation closing on 4 September 2009.

The European Commission web site contains excellent pages on the EuP Directive, including a summary of Eco-design of Energy-Using Products and a comprehensive index of current EU legislation relating to Eco-design. Further EuP information can be found on the Enterprise and Industry pages, also from the European Commission.

The Department for Business Innovation & Skills (incorporating BERR) web site contains a basic page on EuP Background and a page containing information regarding the latest EuP activity and UK involvement. The latter page also gives contact details of the relevant parties in Defra and BIS and Draft Guidance notes.

Further Advice

As with any Directive, the actual requirements for any particular product or producer are very specific. For further advice specific to your products and requirements, please contact us at Conformance and we will be pleased to discuss your needs.

energyusing.txt · Last modified: 2017/11/24 08:58 (external edit)
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