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EU Energy Policy:
Energy Star - Voluntary Agreement

Updated: February 2018

Index of this Page

· Evaluation of Effectiveness of the EU Energy Star Programme. 2016 Read

· EU-USA Third Cooperation Agreement. November 2011 Read
- Regulation on "A Community Energy-Efficiency Labelling Programme for Office Equipment". January 2008. Read
· EU-USA Second Cooperation Agreement. December 2006 Read

· Regulation on "A Community Energy-Efficiency Labelling Programme for Office Equipment" Read

· Launching of the First EU Energy Star Programme in Europe Read
· Programme in Europe. Database, Calculator. November 2001 Read

Evaluation of Effectiveness of the EU Energy Star Programme, 2016.

On April 2016, the European Commission (EC) provided a Roadmap for the evaluation of the effectiveness of the EU Energy Star programme.
The purpose of this evaluation is to provide informed support in light of a possible renewal of the Energy Star Agreement between the EU and the USA, expiring on the 20th of February 2018.

Read more about the roadmap here (pdf).

EU-USA Third Cooperation Agreement. November 2011.
On 29th November 2011
, before the expiration of the last 5 years agreement, the EU and the USA initiated a new Energy Star EU-US Agreement on the coordination of energy-efficient labelling programs for office equipment.This Agreement was signed in December 2012 and approved with Council Decision 2013/107/EU. Regulation 174/2013 extended the program for a further 5 years (until February 2018).

The adjustments suggested by the European Commission for the prolongation of the agreement are the following:

- EU and USA will follow two different product registration systems, due to the decision of the USA to introduce third party certification. There will be not mutual recognition, but steps will be taken to ensure that USA's requirements do not put EU exporters at a disadvantage.
- The public procurement clause in Regulation EC No 106/2008 should be kept, and the possibility of extending it beyond central government authorities should be explored.(For larger public supply contracts governments shall
specify energy-efficiency requirements not less demanding than the Common Specifications for public procurement)
- More regular and frequent revisions of the specifications will be done so that ENERGY STAR could really designate the most efficient products on the market.
- EU Member States will cooperate on the thorough enforcement of the Programme and review the effectiveness of this enforcement no later than 18 months after the conclusion of the Agreement.
- The European Commission will continuously monitor the impact of the changes proposed by the USA and of the ENERGY STAR Programme on energy savings and manufacturers at least one year before the expiry of a new Agreement and it will analyse possible future options for addressing the energy consumption of office equipment, including replacing ENERGY STAR with alternative policy instruments.

In summary, this third agreement allows self-certification of products registered for the EU. However, the United States does allow anymore the import of products labelled under the EU program.

Commission Decision 2014/202/EU, in force since May 2014, added two new product categories (servers and uninterruptible power supplies) and a revision of specifications for displays and imaging equipment.
Commission Decision 2015/1402/EU has updated the minimal specification for computers.

Read more about the agreement here (pdf).

Regulation on "A Community Energy-Efficiency Labelling Programme for Office Equipment". January 2008.
This regulation (No. 106/2008) was adopted by the Council of the European Union and the European Parliament. It sets up rules for the Energy Star Programme for energy efficient office equipment, such as
- new energy-efficiency criteria,
creation of an Energy Star board and
- creation of a work plan by the Commission to develop the Energy Star Programme further.
This was replaced by new regulations in 2011 (see above).

EU-USA Second Cooperation Agreement. December 2006.
In December 2006, the EU and the USA signed an agreement to continue the Energy Star Programme for another 5 years. This Agreement introduces further developed criteria that take into account energy consumption in both the use and the stand-by phases. It is now replaced by a new agreement from 2011 (see above).

Launching of the First EU Energy Star Programme in Europe. November 2001.
In 2000, the EU Commission and the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) agreed to use the "Energy Star" in Europe. This agreement came into force in November 2001 and the labelling process really began in 2002. The EU Energy Star labels energy efficient office equipment sold on the European market. This made it easier for consumers to buy energy efficient equipment in Europe.

The Energy Star web site contains a Database with energy use and performance information on all the European labeled office equipments, so consumers can compare them.
Among the equipments are: computers, monitors, copy machines, faxes. More than 60 brands are registered.
It is expected that the increased consumer focus on energy efficiency caused by this star in the EU countries will save 10 TWh annually in 2015, equivalent to about 0.4% of electricity consumption in the 15 EU countries.

The Energy Star web site includes an Energy Calculator. Thanks to this function you can enter the characteristics of your own equipment (computer, monitor, printer, modem) and describe your way to use it (how many hours per day, stand-by or off mode). With this information the calculator totals up how much electricity your equipment consume per year and how much does it cost.

While "Energy Star" is a good, simple sign of more energy efficient products, it does not tell how to find the most energy-efficient equipment as it only has one category. The criteria to get the energy star are gradually increasing.

Read more about the Energy Star in the EU on the European Commission’s web site. You can also see if your equipment qualifies for a "star" or choose your new computer on Read about the "Energy Star" in the US at

Other Databases on Equipments' Energy Consumption
There are other web-based databases like the Energy Star database such as Topten.

Topten presents the best products available in Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Switzerland. In addition to office equipments other categories of items are available like cars, cold, households, lamps and circulation pumps. However, some products like computers are missing. Very few choices are available for each product (maximum 16) but they are the best ones and they are well described (e.g. electricity consumption for each mode).
Topten started in 2000 in a non-EU country (Switzerland) and was extended in 2004 in France, in 2005 in Austria, in 2006 in Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Poland, Spain, in 2007 in Czech Republic, Finland, Hungary, Italy. Topten is supported by Intelligent Energy Europe and by WWF. It is implemented in each country by national organisations and coordinated by ADEME (French Agency for Environment and Energy Management).

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