From 20 February 2015 European households will save more energy and money when cooking thanks to new Ecodesign measures. Applied to ovens, hobs and range hoods, these measures will bring up to 50 Euros savings on consumers’ energy bills per year. The measures cover aspects such as the energy consumption, the functional performance of the appliances and information for consumers.

What changes on 20 February 2015?

From 20 February 2015 onwards three new Ecodesign measures introduced by the European Union will help consumers save more energy – and money – while cooking. These measures concern:

  • gas and electric ovens
  • gas and electric hobs
  • range hoods

and cover aspects such as

  • increased energy efficiency
  • more transparent information for consumers
  • and (for range hoods) optimised functional performance and reduced energy consumption in low power modes.

The measures will not apply to products that are already on the shelves in stores but only to new products being offered for sale.

Benefits for consumers

The measures will bring more efficient products to the market, and will give consumers the possibility to choose the best performing ones. This will result in significant energy savings:

  • an energy efficient gas oven will typically save 180 Euros over its lifetime, compared to an old product.
  • an energy efficient electric oven will save up to 230 Euros , compared to an old product.
  • by buying the best energy-efficient ovens, hobs and range hoods today, consumers will achieve up to 50 Euros energy savings per year (10-15 Euros for ovens, 15-20 Euros for hobs and 15 Euros for range hoods).

Consumers will not notice these changes when cooking as the functionality of the appliances is not affected. The only thing they will notice is a reduced energy bill.

Michelin star-winning chef Tom Aikens (UK) said: “Wasting energy is as bad as wasting food.  Using it efficiently in your kitchen is a double win, cutting your bills and carbon emissions.  Energy isn’t infinite so we shouldn’t abuse it.”

Stamatis Sivitos of the Coolproducts Campaign said: “Power does not equal performance and too often consumers end up buying products that appear cheap, but cost a fortune to run. Consumers should be wary of retailers discounting old models, since they don’t want to chain themselves to an energy monster. If in doubt, take a good look at the energy label on the product or check out the European Commission’s consumer guidance.”

Benefits for industry

The Ecodesign measures on cooking appliances introduced by the European Commission received favourable support from manufacturers and retailers, as well as from consumer organisations and environmental NGOs.

“We know that our customers want to reduce their household bills, save energy and live a more sustainable life at home. Appliances are responsible for a significant share of home energy consumption and the ecodesign measures will accelerate the switch to more efficient products, benefiting people and the environment.” said Lena Pripp-Kovac, Sustainability Manager at IKEA of Sweden.

Such measures directly contribute to

  • reducing costs and enhancing competitiveness by setting rules at European level;
  • and avoiding compliance costs with potentially 28 different sets of national requirements.

This means a significant extra revenue. Moreover, these measures protect EU industry from competition from low-quality and low-cost imported products.

Benefits for the environment and energy security

The three ecodesign measures applied to electric and gas ovens and hobs, and to range hoods, are expected to:

  • reduce CO2 emissions by more than 1 million tonnes per year from 2020 onwards; this is equivalent to the CO2 emissions generated by around 140.000 people.
  • reduce the EU’s energy need by the equivalent of almost 5 million barrels of importedfuel each year; this is equivalent to heating around 400.000 homes for one year.

All ecodesign and energy labelling measures combined are estimated to save a considerable amount of energy equivalent to the current annual primary energy consumption of Italy.

Richard Black, director of the Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit (UK) said: “The level of support for regulations that cut energy waste is really remarkable – they’re even more popular than renewable energy, which we know is supported by around 80% of Britons. I think this sends a clear message to political parties: people, especially the elderly, really appreciate regulations that save energy, cut bills and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.”

European kitchens are energy savers

European citizens can now count on a number of energy efficient products in their kitchens. The following kitchen appliances are covered by ecodesign/labelling legislation:

  1. Ovens
  2. Hobs
  3. Range hoods
  4. Dishwashers
  5. Refrigerators/freezers
  6. Coffee machines

Together, these products can save nearly 100 Euros per year on your energy bill.

Energy saving tips in the kitchen:

Having a kitchen filled with energy efficient cooking appliances is a great start but it’s not enough. The following tips can help consumers save even more energy and money:

  • Shop smart: Buy cooking appliances in the top energy label class.
  • Cool consciously: Don’t leave the door open longer than necessary. Avoid putting warm food in your freezer as it makes it work harder – allow food to cool down first.
  • Let it breathe: Allow air circulation behind your kitchen appliances. Clean range hood filters regularly.
  • Wash efficiently: Fully load your dishwasher before running it. Scrape food off dishes and save energy by avoiding pre-rinsing.
  • Cook wisely: Keep the oven closed while cooking as each time you open the door the oven loses heat and requires more energy to get back up to temperature.
  • Create the right atmosphere: Use energy efficient light bulbs and turn lights off when not needed.