The European Union has recently made a rather shocking announcement: they’re going to set a number of environmental standards on household goods that could, in the end, ban the sale of any products that aren’t termed “energy efficient” by these standards. This includes things like showerheads, faucets, toilets, windows, and more. If they don’t meet these standards, they won’t be legal to sell or even imported into EU countries. This has both its ups and downs. On one hand, it means that energy will be used better and that people will end up using less power and paying less for what they do use. On the other hand, it will force people to purchase energy efficient products, which may give certain companies a near-monopoly on some markets.
The new standards come from the desire to reduce energy consumption by EU member countries, with a goal of increasing energy efficiency by 20% by the year 2020. A precursor to these standards were set back in 2005 by the EU, but they aren’t nearly as comprehensive or cover as much as these new standards do. The 2005 legislation only affected electronic devices, electrical equipment, and heating equipment. Now, it covers any and all “energy-related” items.
Europeans are, apparently, embracing the resolution and are ready to make their homes more energy efficient. Several governments have already agreed to fast-track the standards through Parliament, so it won’t be long before these standards are formalized and goods banned from sale.