EU ecodesign regulations, which require consumer products like boilers, tumble driers and computers to use less energy could save £26 billion over the next 20 years, cutting £158 a year off the average household energy bill by 2020. The government is relying on these savings to be the largest source of energy bill reductions by 2020.
But the expected savings risk being undermined by lower than expected uptake of efficient products, delays in implementation of ecodesign regulations, and inadequate measurement of how efficient products are being purchased. Taken together, these factors suggest a gap of 40% between what the government expects ecodesign regulations to save, and what is likely to be saved, potentially pushing annual energy bills up by £60 per household in 2020.
Efficiency regulations are a proven means of achieving dramatic cost and carbon savings: UK condensing boiler standards currently save consumers £800 million per year. To ensure the success of ecodesign policy, this policy insight identifies the major barriers to energy saving through product standards and proposes six policy recommendations to address them.