SustainabilityNeed for improvement in EU energy label in online retailing

The Federation of German Consumer Organizations (vzbv) published the results of an online market check and a consumer survey on energy labels today. As for the EU energy label, which was introduced in March 2021, the top-selling German online retailers have not yet fully complied with their legal obligations. That is, the old energy label was still being used in 19 percent of the products examined and in 12 percent of the cases the energy label was missing completely.

For this representative survey, Kantar on behalf of vzbv conducted telephone interviews with 1,024 people aged 18 and above in Germany during August 2021. For the online market check in March and April 2021, a total of 34 online shops were analyzed across four different product groups. Each Website ranked among the 100 top-selling online shops in Germany for the year of 2019.

These are further study results:

  • Of the total of 145 products examined from 34 online shops, 19 percent of the products still carried the old energy label and 12 percent did not have an energy label at all.
  • In addition, the product data sheet with consumer information was missing on almost every fifth product page (19 percent).
  • Internet users said they recognized the new energy label rather poorly (15 percent) or not at all (11 percent) when they last shopped or searched for something online.
  • 44 percent of consumers had already heard of the newly introduced energy label, while 47 percent had not yet heard of it, and eight percent were unsure.
  • Most consumers considered the adjusted test and measurement methods for user behavior (68 percent), the new scale from A to G without the efficiency classes A +, A ++ and A +++ (63 percent) and the QR code for additional product information (60 percent) as useful.

Sabine Lund, consultant in the energy market monitoring team at vzbv, said: “The changeover to the new energy label did not go smoothly in online retail, there is room for improvement here. For consumers, it is essential that the energy label is recognizable at first glance.”

Thomas Engelke, head of the energy and construction team at vzbv, commented: “At the federal and state level it must be ensured that the new legal requirements for the new EU energy label are implemented. The Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy has to go one step further in its educational work for the new EU energy label.”

Source: vzbv

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