February 18, 2015 / 4:20 PM / 5 years ago

EU introduces new rules to make cooking greener

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - The sale of energy wasting ovens and cooking hobs will be banned across the European Union after the latest set of rules to make household appliances more efficient takes effect from Friday.

The European Commission said on Wednesday getting rid of inefficient cooking appliances would cut average consumer energy bills by around 50 euros ($57) per year, while the cumulative savings from the rules across the bloc would run into billions.

The policy, known as ecodesign, chimes with the EU goals of reducing fossil fuel imports and greenhouse gas emissions.

Industry bodies representing European appliance makers, such as Bosch Siemens Haushaltsgeraete [BSHBS.UL] and Philips, were involved in consultations and have welcomed the new rules, which will apply to new ovens and hobs.

But critics have portrayed ecodesign as another example of Brussels bureaucracy. Last year, rules limiting the power of new vacuum cleaners were whipped up into a media frenzy dubbed Hoovergate.

According to the ecodesign directive, which from Friday will cover hobs, ovens and cooking hoods, no model will be allowed on the market if it does not fall below a set energy efficiency limit, delivered through measures such as insulation and better door design.

The Commission said the difference for consumers in terms of performance would be “invisible”.

The law allows shops to clear stock, although energy efficiency campaigners warn customers against being seduced by discounted appliances that will lead to higher fuel bills.

“These rules mean that design standards will go up, and low quality Asian imports that cannot stand the heat will have to leave the kitchen,” Stamatis Sivitos, campaigner for the lobby group Coolproducts Campaign, said.

($1 = 0.8788 euros)

Reporting by Barbara Lewis; Editing by Liisa Tuhkanen

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