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EU – New energy efficiency rules for coffee machines in play

MILAN – A whole series of new energy efficiency measures governing household appliances ranging from smart televisions to coffee machines came into effect on January 1st, in a move that promises to curb the EU’s power demand by the equivalent of 330 coal-fired power plants.

New coffee machines have to switch to a low power standby or off mode after a specified time depending on the type of machine, reducing their electricity consumption by 30% or £36 over the lifetime of a drip filter model.

The measures are part of the extended Energy Labelling Directive and the EU Ecodesign Directive, which aims to tackle the increasingly power-hungry “internet of things” or networked appliances, such as connected TVs and games consoles, by banning the least efficient appliances from the market.

Separately, new Energy Labelling Directive rules will require energy labels on all domestic ovens and range hoods sold in Europe.

Online retailers will have to display energy efficiency labels alongside goods to inform shoppers, in the same way as is already done with electrical goods in bricks and mortar outlets, and gas ovens will also have to display energy ratings.

The European Commission claims that its new rules, which are intended to help mitigate climate change, will not affect consumers as most filter machines have insulated jugs which keep coffee warm.

These two directives are set to cut European energy bills by €79bn per year from 2020, European Commission analysis claims.

European Consumer Organisation director general Monique Goyens said: “Improving the energy consumption levels of everyday consumer products is the right approach to contribute some relief to consumers from increasing energy bills.

As said above, the rules apply differently to various types of coffee machine:

  • espresso machines must switch off 30 minutes after use;
  • drip-filter coffee machines with insulated jugs (which keep your coffee warm) must switch off after just five minutes;
  • drip-filter coffee machines with non-insulated jugs must switch off after 40 minutes.

Many coffee machines already have an automatic shut-off function. The rules only affect new coffee machines being made. Older models still on sale don’t have to comply.