Washing Machine with label for energy efficiency

© iStock.com/SusanneB

The new EU energy labelling regulation, which was adopted in spring this year, came into force on 1 August 2017. This regulation changes the legal framework under which the EU label gradually moved towards use of the A+ classes in favour of a reversion to a clear and easy-to-undertand A to G scale. The energy efficiency label with the colour-coded scale from green (very efficient) to red (very inefficient) was introduced 20 years ago; it now provides information for consumers on the energy consumption of more than 16 different products, including traditional household appliances, TV sets and boilers.

Said State Secretary Baake: “The change in energy labelling towards the use of the clear and easy-to-understand A-G scale gives the EU label greater informative value again. The complicated A+ classes are being abolished. This is a good sign for the consumer as it means that the energy label provides information on a product’s energy consumption which is clear and easy-to-understand. In the future, appliances will also be registered in an EU-wide product database. Consumers will be able to search this database and compare the energy efficiency of different appliances in order to find the one that is most efficient. As we begin our revision of the different product-specific energy regulations this year, we will work to ensure that the requirements for the testing procedures used are more closely oriented towards actual consumer behaviour.”

The general provisions in the EU energy labelling regulation will now be gradually implemented and fleshed out in detail for individual products. The regulations on washing machines, refrigerators, dishwashers, TVs, monitors and lighting will be the first to be revised, a process that will run up to autumn 2018. As a rule, manufacturers will have one year to implement the new energy label with the A-G scale, which consumers will see in the shops from the end of 2019/beginning of 2020.

The entry into force of the EU energy label regulation on 1 August 2017 will, however, bring in certain changes that will affect manufacturers and retailers straight away. One such change is that a product’s energy efficiency class has to be highlighted more in advertising and the breadth of classes that exist must also be specified.

To find out about other changes that will take effect directly upon entry into force of the EU energy label regulation, please click here (in German).