The well-known energy label which has been on products for around 20 years to help consumers choose more energy efficient appliances has changed. The original energy label ranged from A for high efficiency to F for low efficiency. As the market for efficient appliances grew, this extended all the way up to A+++, which many products now achieve. To simplify this, since 1st March 2021 there is a straight-forward A-G scale.
The new labels are initially only be for fridges and freezer, dishwashers, washing machines and television sets (plus other external monitors). They claim that the new scale is stricter and designed so that very few products are initially able to achieve the “A” rating, leaving space for more efficient products to be included in the future. Therefore, those labelled as “B”, “C” and “D” are the most energy efficient products on the market (depending on the product category), roughly replacing the current “A+”, “A++” and “A+++” although you will likely see many less “B” rated products than you did “A+++”.
The new label features a QR code on the top right. Scanning this will show consumers additional information about the product model, such as dimensions, specific features or test results. Icons have been added showing product features (e.g. the spinning efficiency class of a washing machine) and the energy consumption of the appliance is now more prominent on the label. All new appliances on the EU market have to be registered in a new EU-wide database – European Product Registry for Energy Labels (EPREL). This will further facilitate the comparison of similar products in the future.
As well as the new energy label, a corresponding regulation around ecodesign came into effect 1 March 2021. Manufacturers or importers are now obliged to make a range of essential parts available to professional repairers for at least 7-10 years after the last unit of a model has been placed on the EU market. This helps to promote a circular economy, as well as the obligation for manufacturers to make certain spare parts available for consumers for several years after the product is taken off market. For example, doors, hinges and seals which can be fixed through consumer DIY.
Retailers had 14 working days after 1 March 2021 to change the labels in their displays in shops and online outlets. This means most products you view should have the new energy label but the site might also mention the old one during the transition period. There are some exceptions, for example, models discontinued after 1 November 2020 (but still in stock) will be able to keep the old label for a 9-month period.
See below for the individual label updates.
They will now show energy consumption listed per 100 washes, plus additional information on capacity and duration of ‘Eco 40-60’ programmes, water consumption per litre, and noise emission class.
Fridges and Freezers
They will now have an icon for chilled and unfrozen compartments, as well as a new icon for noise emissions.
They will have an icon for how many wine bottles can be stored and an icon for noise emissions with details of noise emission classes.
New label will include the new energy efficiency scale and noise emission classes for spinning. Energy consumption is now listed as per 100 washes, with a rated capacity, water consumption and details of duration now listed for a wash and dry cycle, as well as for wash only.
As well as the new energy efficiency scale, energy consumption for an ‘Eco’ setting is now listed as per 100 cycles; water consumption for an ‘Eco’ setting is now listed in litres; duration of an ‘Eco’ setting is now shown; and there’s a new icon for noise emissions.
TVs and Other Displays
Will now show energy consumption per 1,000 hours of use for both standard dynamic range (SDR) and high dynamic range (HDR). Power in watts and hard switches have been removed, whilst screen size now includes resolution level (in pixels).