Coolproducts is a campaign to set ambitious minimum requirements for energy efficiency and other environmental aspects of products sold in the European Union. If we are successful, it will become easier for consumers in Europe - a market of almost 500 million people - to choose greener products and fight climate change.
The products we use in our every day life - from computers to TVs, and boilers to warm our homes - consume a lot of energy and have impacts on the environment. Boilers and water heaters alone are responsible for the same amount of greenhouse gas emissions as the whole of the transport sector! Forcing manufacturers to make these products greener is absolutely essential if we want to save the climate and the environment, and decrease energy bills. We also need to improve their recyclability and get rid of the toxic chemicals some of them contain.
Many consumers are already trying to do their bit by looking for more energy and ecologically efficient products on the market. But it is still difficult and many of us are also confused. The wide choice available, the lack of regulation to remove polluting products from the market, and the lack of reliable information all make it hard to figure out what to buy.
When a computer, a television or a radio is on standby mode it still consumes energy, and a surprising amount of energy given that the appliance is not in use and supposedly ‘at rest’. The energy needed to power the various products on standby, can increase household bills by a considerable amount over a year. The EU has decided to set efficiency standards for standby on all products. The aim is to shift from the current standby modes to more technologically advanced ‘passive standby’ and ‘off’ modes that achieve the lowest possible energy consumption levels, eventually moving towards a consumption of 0 Watts.
Bad standby: wasting dozens of Watts by doing nothing, leaving unused functionalities on and/or remaining connected to networks without clear necessity.
Smart standby: consuming nearly 0 Watt and leaving the user happy!
Even smarter: products that we can switched off completely through a hard switch or a multiple plug with a switch.
Internet access, computers and game consoles
PCs, DSL Modems, Wi–Fi Access and Internet servers are responsible for a large and growing portion of electricity consumption and climate change related emissions. Work to increase the efficiency of these products is still in the very early stages of development. The EU ecodesign policy will also cover computers and game consoles.