Ecodesign and Energy Labelling legislation are key contributors in supporting the Commission's overarching priority to strengthen Europe’s competitiveness and boost job creation and economic growth. Their effect can be felt in the Energy Union objectives, the transition to a Circular Economy, the internal market functioning and the environment. They also drive investment and innovation and save money for consumers.
The Methodology for Ecodesign of Energy-related Products (MEErP henceforth) consists of a techno-economic-environmental assessment of a specific product group. This assessment is the main analytical step in the potential implementation of the Ecodesign Directive on a specific product group.
Concerning the identification and the level of stringency of the (potential) Ecodesign requirements for a certain product group, the most important part of the analysis takes place within the techno-economic assessment, at the point when the life cycle cost curve is determined, and the Least Life Cycle Cost (LLCC henceforth) is defined. On the basis of the LLCC and related product environmental impact, Ecodesign requirements for a certain product can be set, aiming to gradually – and sustainably - push the market towards the LLCC. Once the requirements are defined, it is left to individual manufacturers to choose how, and with which technologies, to produce a compliant product (in line with the principle of technological neutrality). The LLCC is unique to each product category, and it provides the optimum level from a regulatory perspective because it minimises the total cost of ownership for the consumer and it pushes all manufacturers, at the same time, to make improvements to their products with existing technologies.
The MEErP is open, iterative, transparent, and utilises a tool (the EcoReport tool) that is free at the point of use, and is simple to use whilst being sufficiently complex/ complete in order to capture the main inputs and outputs at product specific level. The EcoReport is a streamlined life-cycle based tool that is openly available, with no presumption or requirement of prior purchase of a commercially-available Life Cycle Assessment package.
In 2013, the MEErP was evaluated and considered fit for purpose in the decision-making process of the Ecodesign and Energy Labelling legislative framework. A new update is now needed, in particular a) to update, when and where necessary, some of the data used in the analysis and b) to ensure that the MEErP is still fit for its purpose, in line with the policy developments of the last years. Within this framework, several areas of analysis (together with, in some cases, potential solutions/approaches) have been identified in the course of the last years, namely: