Op-Ed: You do not have to be a climate change believer to know that wise energy consumption is a good idea. This lovely old planet of ours just keeps on giving but one day she will reach her limit. In the short term saving energy can mean more pounds, dollars or whatever in your pockets.
Too many times however reforms are ill-thought out and lead to high costs in other ways for consumers or even reduced capabilities so what about this latest EU initiative?
It will be business as usual until you need to replace an item such as modem.
"The change is part of the EU's Ecodesign initiative, which aims to cut costs, improve competitiveness and reduce carbon emissions. Energy labels on online products will also be improved, while gas ovens will have to display energy ratings." In the 21st Century replacing goods is often a frequent necessity. Products such as washing machines may be cheaper to buy than in the 50's or 60's but back then they lasted a lifetime. These days five years seems a good lifespan for white goods.
BBC News reports new networked devices such as modems and internet-connected televisions will now have to switch themselves off when not in use.
That may or may not be a nuisance to you or even a downright pain but it does not have to be.
In order to save money on our sky-high energy costs in the UK we became stand-by boycotters some time ago.
Why leave a microwave connected to the power source all the time when all that does is show you the time and clock up high costs on your electricity meter? Why leave the TV and DVD on stand-by when it is up and running as soon as the power is back on?
Ensuring you switch of all these drains on power as you get ready to go to bed at night may also help you sleep safer. It cuts down on fire risks for sure.
But if you disagree you may no longer have a choice.
From today, New Year's Day, new devices sold will fall to sleep, "using a trickle of power when they are not in use. The European Commission said the move would save an average household about £32 a year".
But the changes are not widely welcomed. Power has been downgraded on a range of products. Fans of vacuum cleaners that offer high power cleaning say the reforms remove customer choice. Some energy experts however claim that such cleaners only offer noisier equipment that sounds more powerful but is not.
That argument will not appease those who complain of a nanny state in the UK and the EU.
Will manufacturers abide by the new rules? Will consumers choose to buy from non EU countries and bypass the rules? Will the new goods be more costly to buy? Will they be less efficient?
Importantly who will police this new piece of legislation?
But with or without such reform you can choose to make your home safer and more energy economic by simply switching off when not in use.