EnergyCommission wants to simplify energy labels for consumer goods

Today, the Commission agreed to renew the energy labeling system for home appliances by removing the top energy classes of ‘A+’,’A++’ and ‘A+++’ and returning to an 'A–G' energy scale from 2021 onwards. Over the years, the former label stimulated innovative competition for more energy efficient products. Consequently, nowadays most appliances fall under the top classes (A+, A++, A+++) and almost no product is in the lowest classes (E, F, G) or in some cases not even in the 'A' class.

These are more details:

  • Rescaled labels apply for five product groups of household appliances: fridges, TV screens and electronical displays, dishwashers, washing machines and lamps.

  • At present, an A+ label actually presents an average to even least energy efficient product in the market. However, consumers might mistake it for an efficient product. Fewer than 1 in 4 consumers understands that an ‘A+’ fridge is the least energy-efficient on the market.

  • Therefore, dropping the ‘A+’,’A++’ and ‘A+++’ classes and rescaling to 'A–G' labels will help consumers to better distinguish and compare the performance of products.

  • Additionally, the new labeling system will entail a digital database that registers all new energy efficient products placed on the EU market in an online database. This enhances transparency and facilitates market surveillance for national authorities.

Monique Goyens, Director General of the European Consumer Organization BEUC, commented: “It was high time the energy label got a facelift, because it misled consumers to assume that their fridge or washing machine was consuming less energy than it was. The new label will be a crucial tool to help consumers opt for the most energy-efficient products and save money. However, this is only the beginning. The EU Commission should not rest on its laurels and swiftly rescale the energy label for other product groups too.”

Source: BEUC and European Commission

More information and label Fact Sheet