In the European Union, legislators aim at achieving energy efficiency targets with individual regulations and energy efficiency programs. The formers are in the form of laws (EU directives and regulations, national laws, e.g. laws and regulations), which are summarized in National Energy Efficiency Action Plans, which is mandatory for Member States to prepare and implement.
The regulations include general objectives, which are typically defined by directives which Member States must incorporate into their own legal system within a specified timeframe. Directives therefore do not have direct legal effect. Hungary for example implemented (that is incorporated into Hungarian law):
- Directive 2012/27/EU on energy efficiency into Act LVII of 2015,
- Directive 2010/30/EU on energy labelling into Government Decree Nr. 193 of 2011 (IX.22.) (please note that with effect from 1 August, 2017 the Directive 2010/30/EU was replaced by EU regulation Nr. 2017/1369!),
- and Directive 2009/125/EC on eco-design into Government Decree Nr. 65 of 2011 (IV.15.)
The directives oblige the Member States to pursue the objectives, but with a choice of means in implementation so, to some extent, they provide them with flexibility.
The regulations concerning individual products are set out in EU regulations. Regulations are direct sources of law, that is, they do not need to be incorporated into Member States’ legislation by individual Member States. EU regulations can be directly referenced to.
All relevant products (e.g. refrigerators, washing machines, dishwashers, televisions, vacuum cleaners, etc.) are subject to separate energy labelling and eco-design regulations. For example:
|Eco-design regulations||Energy label regulations|
National Energy Efficiency Action Plan
In Hungary, the documents called Magyarország Energiahatékonysági Cselekvési Terve 2020-ig (Hungary’s Energy Efficiency Action Plan by 2020), and Nemzeti Energiastratégia 2030 (National Energy Strategy 2030) define the domestic opportunities.
One of the successful energy efficiency programs of the past period has been the Otthon Melege Program, whereby some applications for the Háztartási Nagygépek Cseréje Alprogram have been announced:
HGCS 2014: replacement of old refrigerators and freezers
MGCS 2015: replacement of old washing machines
HGCS 2016: replacement of old refrigerators and freezers
HGCS 2017: replacement of old refrigerators and freezers, and washing machines
Please note that the Hungarian website contains detailed information in relation to the eco-design and the energy label regulations, too.