Scientific Studies on Increasing Energy and Resource Efficiency of Products

Stromstecker und das EU-Energielabel

The reduction of greenhouse gas emissions is the focus of German energy and climate protection policy. Germany intends to be climate neutral by 2045 – achieving that requires the expansion of renewable energies and, above all, technology that significantly and permanently reduces energy consumption. Germany can only remain internationally competitive by investing in efficiency technologies and innovative products.

The introduction of the EU energy label and the definition of minimum environmental requirements for energy-related products (i.e. ecodesign) could significantly increase the energy efficiency of some product groups, e.g. washing machines and televisions. In the coming months and years, a number of product regulations will change, and the EU depends on input from the Member States to make these changes. Germany will advocate dynamic, demanding standards for both the EU energy label and ecodesign.

In this context, the Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM) has commissioned a research group to explore the scientific and technical background to enforcing the ambitious standards of the energy label and ecodesign at EU level. The focus of the project is the product groups that will undergo revision over the short and medium term due to the label or ecodesign. The priority here: to show BAM and the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action (BMWi) additional energy-saving potential in certain product groups and develop proposals for national action.

The project is divided into the following work packages:

  • Processing of horizontal issues in the context of new and revised ordinances – for example through the systematic screening of existing ordinances or the analysis of regulations – to make recommendations for revisions to product-specific regulations,
  • Identification of resource efficiency, such as the development of positive approaches for the identification of the repairability, recyclability and functional durability of products,
  • Market and consumer research to collect knowledge about consumer perception and behaviour and incorporate this into energy consumption labelling
  • as well as project meetings and workshops with experts and stakeholders from science and business as well as technical and editorial input for publication by BAM and the BMWi.

adelphi has been commissioned by BAM to carry out the study along with the Fraunhofer Institute for Reliability and Microintegration (IZM) and the Wuppertal Institute for Climate, Environment and Energy.