For analysts, the energy efficiency of electronic displays is a moving target. In one year, the industry introduces new energy-guzzling features like 4K-resolution or High Dynamic Range colour rendering. The next year, products with these features already blend in with the rest in terms of their energy use.
As soon as an energy efficiency item is tabled in the very early stages of a policy debate, R&D departments of the predominantly Asian industries set out to find the solution and by the time the 2 to 3 year policy making process is finished the measures have lost most of their relevance.
In the eyes of many, the dynamics of the electronics sector seem to make Ecodesign or Energy Label measures superfluous. But actually the opposite is true.
The global electronics industry recognizes that compliance with minimum requirements and excellence on any official rating such as Energy Label are vital for commercial success. Helped by Moore's Law, that effectively makes electronics twice as energy efficient for the same functionality every 2-3 years, and the rapid efficiency improvement of LED-backlights, the electronics industry can react very fast to imminent legal action. The important issue for legislators is the impact of scale: Action at country level or even at the level of a continent is much less effective than action where 'Brussels' is moving in sync with the rest of the world. This is why, for instance, the European Union and the United States made an international agreement on the ENERGY STAR label for office equipment. This endorsement label has been and still is a major global driver in energy efficient office equipment and the international agreement gave the EU a row in the front seat when setting new requirements. The EU Energy Label programme has its own EU database and EU registration route, playing an important role in government green procurement. The developments at ENERGY STAR level are also a very important input for the EU's very own Energy Label and Ecodesign measures for electronic displays.
In the late 1990s VHK consultants were involved in several contracts and studies that contributed to drastically reducing the stand-by use from 8 watts to 1 watt. VHK was confronted with the TV Energy Label in the year 2000 when acting as technical consultant for the Netherlands in the Energy Label Regulatory Committee.
In 2003 VHK was contracted by the European Commission to launch the EU ENERGY STAR programme through brochure's in 11 languages, stickers, a large conference in Frankfurt and -last but not least- setting up and launching the official EU ENERGY STAR website, database and registration procedures. VHK managed that website, database and EU registrations until 2011 and then again, after an interim period where the Commission used another contractor, from January 2015 to the expiration of the ENERGY STAR US-EU Agreement in February 2018.
Our strong advantage over other contractors is an in-depth knowledge of the products at hand, allowing us to immediately spot errors in entries or registrations, and a very good understanding of the meticulous way that an official EU database, in this case possibly decisive for a company winning or losing a government contract, should be run. On top of that, VHK has of course all the capabilities of designing a clear and easy accessible website one may expect from a professional web developer.
The EU ENERGY STAR database is one of the several energy-related product databases and websites that VHK set up for its clients, amongst others for the Netherlands energy agency, the governmental buildings department Rijksgebouwendienst (PIT programme) and the official environmental consumer website Milieu Centraal. But with a track record of over 10 years, EU ENERGY STAR is without doubt the largest and the longest running site of its kind in the EU, keeping accurate data-records of over 20 000 models of electronic displays, computers and imaging equipment offered on the EU-market today.
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