The European Commission intends to extend the Ecodesign Directive which changed the rules relating to light bulbs, so that they apply to water-related products such as power showers and mixer taps. Under plans currently being considered in Brussels the European Commission can declare almost any product ‘energy-related’ so that strict ‘energy efficiency’ rules can be applied. These rules can lead to the forced improvement in the energy efficiency of existing domestic appliances or at worst, a complete ban of some.
The Ecodesign Directive has already been adopted by Britain along with every other EU member but proposed regulations affecting water-related products are the most contentious. Most southern European countries suffering regularly from drought conditions but the vast majority of northern European countries don’t suffer in the same way. This means that imposing rules designed to improve the water efficiency of domestic appliances across all member states will be impractical and unfair.
The new rules, which are expected to be in place by the end of 2014, could be drawn up to cover not only water-related products such as power showers and mixer taps but also replacement windows and doors, central heating boilers, wine coolers, coffee machines, ovens and vacuum cleaners.
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