Fridges, ovens, lamps and washing machines have long been subject to compulsory energy consumption labelling and other consumer information under the European Union’s Energy Labelling Directive. Now more products will be energy labelled, thereby making it easier for consumers to make climate smart choices when shopping.
The labelling entails classifying how energy-efficient the product is, where the classification A is most energy-efficient and G the least energy-efficient. The labelling requirement is to give consumers the opportunity to make active choices of energy-effective products when shopping.
Last year the EU Commission presented a proposal for a revised directive on labelling of energy-related products. The proposal is part of the Commission’s Action Plan for Energy Efficiency, aimed at realising the energy saving potential of 20 per cent more effective energy use by 2020.
The proposed directive has been negotiated intensively during the Swedish Presidency of the EU and discussions have mainly concerned the design of the labelling, how requirements for advertising are to be formulated and the energy classification requirements that should apply to public procurement.
In the agreement between the European Parliament and the Council of Ministers of 17 November it was decided that labelling must be expanded to also include energy-using products used in the industrial sector and products affecting energy consumption, such as hot water taps and showerheads.
It was decided that in future the scale A–G will form the basis of labelling and that the clear colour scale – in which dark green is the most energy-efficient and red the least energy-efficient product – will continue to apply.
Under the agreement the Member States must also endeavour to only procure the highest energy class of labelled products in public procurement.
For the products that are already subject to labelling requirements and where a majority of the products on the market are in the highest energy classes, it was decided that labelling can be extended by further energy classes in the form of A+, A++ and A+++.