European Commission Investigating Smart Appliances

Tue, 12/08/2015 - 09:32 -- MrGreen

The European Commission (EC) has begun an Ecodesign Directive preparatory study (Lot 33) on "smart appliances" as a first step towards possible efficiency, interoperability, and energy labeling regulations. Initial work started late last year and is expected to be finished in September 2016.

Smart appliances are defined as appliances that can respond to external signals, modifying energy consumption to optimize the balance between energy supply and demand. The first part of the study focused on defining and categorizing smart appliances according to their functionality and degree of intelligence.

The approach is horizontal in nature, covering different product types meeting the study's "smart" requirements. The following appliances are based on demand response and comfort impact potential.

  • Household appliances
    • Periodical appliances1 (dishwashers, washing machine, tumble driers)
    • Continuous appliances2 (refrigerators, freezers, water heaters)
    • Behavioral appliances3 (electric ovens, hoods, hobs, and vacuum cleaners)
  • Heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning
    • Electric heating (radiators, boilers, electric/hybrid heat pumps)
    • Ventilation (local and central fans and heat recovery units)
    • Air conditioning
  • Chargers (low power for multimedia devices and power tools)
  • Battery storage systems (UPS, battery energy storage)
  • Lighting systems (indoor, street lighting)

An assessment of smart appliances will be made along technical and environmental lines, addressing the amount of energy consumption linked to smart features, the best currently available and future available smart appliance technologies, and consumer and industry impact.

To learn more about the study and to register for updates, visit the Ecodesign Smart Appliances website.

1. Appliances that periodically execute a user-initiated cycle, requiring no user interaction while running.
2. Appliances that operate continuously, requiring no user interaction after initial set-up.
3. Appliances that require active user involvement.