Fridges, dishwashers, washing machines, and electronic displays, including televisions monitors and digital signage displays will get new energy labels from March 1, while new labels for lamps will be rolled out on September 1.
The European Union’s energy label categories will be adjusted to introduce a simpler, A to G scale, instead of the current A to D scale, and remove the A+++, A++, and A+ grades and offer more detailed technical characteristics of home appliances.
Class A will initially be empty
The changes are being applied because products are becoming more and more energy-efficient while the difference between A+, A++, and A+++ is less obvious. According to the European Commission, Class A will initially be empty to leave room for more energy-efficient models to be developed.
New labels will enable consumers to distinguish more clearly between the most energy-efficient products. At the same time, it is meant to encourage manufacturers to continue research and innovation into more energy-efficient technologies, the commission said.
The EU legislation for energy labels and ecodesign will bring an average saving of up to EUR 285 per year for consumers
According to EU data, the legislation for energy labels and ecodesign will bring energy savings of approximately 230 million tonnes of oil equivalent or Mtoe by 2030. For consumers, this means an average saving of up to EUR 285 per year on their household energy bills. Moreover, energy efficiency measures will create EUR 66 billion in extra revenue for European companies.
The EU energy label was introduced in 1994 and expanded in 2004. It proved to be a key driver for helping consumers choose more energy-efficient products and a driver for manufacturers to innovate.
What is else new on the label
A QR code will be placed in the upper right corner of the label. It will enable consumers to get more detailed information on the models of home appliances via a direct link to the European Commission’s label database.
Secondly, the products’ annual energy consumption is presented more prominently and uniformly in the middle section of the label. Also, it is calculated with refined methods.
Thirdly, various pictograms which inform consumers about product features are revised or newly introduced (e.g. energy efficiency in HDR mode for TVs and displays, washing time for washing machines).
EU product database for energy labeling: guidance for manufacturers and retailers
Using the QR code, consumers can access the EU product database for energy labeling (EPREL). Since January 1, 2019, suppliers (manufacturers, importers, or authorized representatives) have to upload information about their products to the database before placing them on the European market.
Consumers will be able to search the database for energy labels and product information sheets as of March 2021 for the first rescaled product categories, the commission said.
App software is in the pipeline to allow comparison of product data and cost calculations.
The database provides additional product information not included on the label and is divided into two sections for different target groups:
- For market surveillance: only accessible for market surveillance authorities.
- For consumers, professional buyers, retailers.