Framework Directive on the standardized Europe-wide energy efficiency labelling of products
Colour-coded efficiency scales visualise the energy consumption of products and help customers choose energy-efficient products. The scales also fuel competition among manufacturers.
The European Union has defined a framework that governs all of Europe. At its core is the of the European Parliament and of the Council of 19 May 2010 on the "indication by labelling and standard product information of the consumption of energy and other resources by energy-related products". It supersedes the previous Energy Labelling Directive 92/75/EEC.
The Directive covers all energy-related products: not just household appliances, but also products for commercial applications as well as products that do not consume energy themselves, but nonetheless have a significant impact on energy consumption (e. g. insulated windows).
Directive 2010/30/EU aims at boosting energy efficiency by providing clear and easy-to-understand consumer information. Ideally, potential buyers will have a better point of reference for their purchase decision thanks to the , energy consumption information and other valuable resources.
Transposition of the Framework Directive into German law
The EU Framework Directive on energy efficiency labelling of products was implemented in Germany under the recast Law on Energy Consumption Labelling (EnVKG) and the amended Regulation on Energy Consumption Labelling (EnVKV). Both the law and the regulation entered into force on 17 May 2012 (Official Federal Gazette I p. 1070).
The goal of these two implementing measures is to improve the market surveillance of product labelling. This is done by broadening the federal states' implementation powers and duties (random checks, for example) in keeping with Regulation (EC) No. 765/2008. Well-functioning market surveillance will guarantee equality of competition among companies and ensure that consumer information is correct.
The European Commission's product-specific legal acts state which specific product groups are required to have an EU energy label. These legal acts also specify when the producers' and distributors' duties become effective for the individual product groups, and which transitional measures apply.
Design of the EU energy label
The EU energy label is limited to seven energy efficiency classes. If warranted by technological progress, three additional classes (A+, A++, A+++) can be added above the scale, which currently ranges from A (more efficient) to G (less efficient).
The uniform Europe-wide energy label is language-neutral. In addition to pictograms indicating the energy efficiency class, it gives consumers information about annual energy consumption and other product specifics, for example, the water consumption and water-extraction efficiency of washing machines.
Product-specific acts at European level
The EU Framework Directive serves as a basis for product-specific EU regulations. These European Commission regulations apply directly and are binding on distributors and producers in the EU.
At this moment, there are regulations on 13 product groups. You can access an overview of these regulations and the total number of product groups currently going through the European Commission procedures on the .
Amendment of the Regulation on Energy Efficiency Labelling
During EU negotiations on the amendment of the EU Regulation on Energy Efficiency Labelling, Germany will do everything it can to include more consumer information in the EU energy label design. Furthermore, the German government champions the creation of an EU online database designed to give consumers an excellent overview of all commercially available devices bearing an EU energy label. Click for more details.