Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Previous programme


Successor programme


Official Journal Reference

L 157 of 1989-06-09

Legislative Reference

89/364/(CEE) of 1989-06-05
To influence electricity consumers in favour of the use of appliances and equipment with high electrical efficiency in the most efficient manner, and to encourage further improvement in the efficiency of electrical appliances and equipment and of electricity-based processes.


In its Resolution of 15 January 1985 on the improvement of energy-saving programmes in the Community (Official Journal No C 20 of 22.1.1985), the Council invited the Member States to pursue and where necessary to increase their efforts to promote the more rational use of energy by the further development of energy-saving policies. In its Resolution of 16 September 1986 concerning new Community energy policy objectives for 1995 and convergence of the policies of the Member States (Official Journal No C 241 of 25.9.1986), the Council called for a vigorous policy of energy saving.

In the above context, this first action programme for improving the efficiency of electricity use is complementary to other Community actions in the general field of energy saving. It is designed to involve not only the Commission and Member State Governments but also other parties in the electricity sector, notably the electricity consumers' organizations and professional institutions. Expected benefits include lower primary energy consumption, reduced investment in electricity production capacity, reduced emission levels and lower electricity costs to consumers.


Actions which may be taken under the programme:

- Consumer information:
. Action to improve the quality and availability of information to electricity consumers and equipment specifiers concerning the efficiency of electrical appliances and equipment and their efficient use;
. Provision of information by electricity distributors, consumer organizations and, where appropriate, by governments, including more detailed information about tariffs, meterings and accounts;
. Most effective use of all media for disseminating information;
. Provision by manufacturers of data relating to appliance and equipment efficiency, including improvement of the labelling system;
. Use of appropriate databases;
. Adoption of directives by the competent authorities, in this context, regarding the provision of information to the consumer;

- Technical advice:
Action to ensure that technical advice on the purchase, installation and use of the most efficient electrical appliances and equipment is readily available to electricity consumers, including:
. Action by electricity distributors, consumer organizations and Member State Governments to ensure that advice is available to consumers on the purchase, installation and use of the most efficient electrical appliances and equipment possible;
. Action by professional institutions concerned with the specification and installation of electrical equipment to ensure that their members are adequately informed on the efficient use of electricity, the aim being to safeguard consumer interests while protecting the interests of the Community as a whole;

- Efficiency of electrical appliances and equipment:
Action to improve the efficiency of electrical appliances and equipment and to increase the market share of the most efficient products on the market including:
. The establishment of cooperation between manufacturers to improve the efficiency of appliances and equipment and in particular the fitting of thermostats to all electrical equipment with a heating element;
. Efforts to increase the market penetration of efficient appliances and equipment including examination of the potential of selective financial intervention and particularly of third-part financing;
. Action by official authorities to ensure that, in all activities which they are responsible for and in all buildings they own or occupy, including street-lighting, electrical appliances and equipment are of high efficiency and efficiently operated;
. Examination by the Commission of how it can promote the effectiveness of the programme at Community level, to supplement the activities of the Member States under the programme both by coordination and by promoting harmonization of product information regarding the (energy) performance of appliances and equipment and the development of European product standards on performance and energy consumption;
. Examination of the possibilities for electronic control of domestic and industrial electricity consumption, by use of remote reading and control microprocessors;
. Examination of a more comprehensive system of metering and signalling that would be more accessible to the consumer, enabling him to act promptly in cases of excessive consumption;

- Demonstration:
Action in conjunction, where necessary, with other existing programmes, to ensure that the demonstration of new, more efficient appliances, equipment and technologies is adequately supported, and that information thereon is disseminated throughout the Community;

- Studies and other support activities:
Action to analyse factors determining the efficiency of electricity use and to identify areas in which additional measures might effectively be taken; other studies and information seminars.


The Commission is responsible for the implementation of the programme, assisted by a committee of an advisory nature composed of the representatives of the Member States and chaired by the representative of the Commission.

The carrying out of the activities summarized in the Council Decision depends on the specific situation of each Member State in relation to the objectives to be achieved.

The Commission:
- Coordinates, at Community level:
. Action taken under the programme, in conjunction, where necessary, with other existing programmes;
. The exchange of information and experience;
- Monitors the programme's progress and results.
In this connection, the Commission is responsible for technical support to the management of the programme and for the management of actions which it takes with a view to the successful implementation of the programme.

Starting in 1991, Community financing for the measures undertaken is provided in part through the SAVE programme (Council Decision 91/566/EEC of 29.10.1991). The level of support is determined on a case by case basis, according to the type of measure.

The Commission shall report to the European Parliament, the Council and the Economic and Social Committee on the progress of the programme at intervals not exceeding eighteen months. Before a period of three years has elapsed, the programme and the procedures established for its implementation shall be re-examined on the basis of a report by the Commission with a view to examining their effectiveness and their possible improvement.

The Member States were required to bring into force the provisions necessary to comply with the Council Decision not later than nine months after its adoption.


Energy Saving
Record Number: 308 / Last updated on: 2014-03-05