Brussels gives way to the modernisation of the energy label for energy-related products. When the new framework regulation on energy efficiency labelling enters into force in August 2017, the "plus classes" will no longer be used, and the letters A to G will again cover all authorised energy efficiency classes. This will provide more transparency for customers in comparing products and opting for more efficient products. It also creates incentives for manufacturers to further improve the energy efficiency of their products.
Today, the best devices are in efficiency classes A to A +++. However, these "plus classes" can blur the clarity and effectiveness of labelling. The EU Commission has recognised this problem and has now created the legal basis for modernising the efficiency classes.
Devices with high energy savings potential first
Household refrigerators, washing machines, washer-dryers, dishwashers, televisions and lamps and luminaires are the first product groups to be adjusted. Since many of these devices are now in the highest efficiency classes and technical improvements are expected in the near future, their conversion will create high energy savings potential. The European Commission will now revise the detailed technical requirements for these devices by January 2019 and the results will be published in what are known as delegated acts. The first devices with the new energy label will only come on the market after that date, which is expected to be in early 2020.
"BAM supports the implementation of this framework regulation, which has now published. We advise and inform all those who have to implement and comply with the new rules, i.e. industry and market surveillance authorities," says Dr. Floris Akkerman, Head of BAM's Ecodesign and Energy Labelling Section.
The colour scale of the energy label remains the same, but the products will be reassigned to the efficiency classes
The familiar dark green to red colour scale of the energy label will remain. However, if the Ecodesign Directive (2009/125/EC) which is closely aligned with the energy labelling already prohibits products in classes "E", "F" or "G", these classes will be indicated in grey on the energy label.
Efficiency class A remains free at the time of the introduction of the new scale or an energy label for a product group that has previously not been considered. Therefore, no device in this top class will be initially available in the shops. The Commission must also ensure that most models are expected to reach class A due to their further development 10 years later at the earliest. If, however, the technology of a product group develops more quickly, the two top classes, i.e. A and B, must remain free when the new energy label is introduced. The goal here is planning security because the rules should not require adaptation after a short time.
This framework regulation introduces changes for suppliers, manufacturers and importers, dealers and market surveillance authorities, but also for the EU Commission. The new energy consumption label is intended to further dampen the demand for energy within the European Union. This is one of the key measures of the European strategy to secure the energy supply and for environmental and climate protection. The aim of the European Union is to take a leadership role in the global transition to clean energy. This is why energy efficiency – also with a view to future generations – comes first in the EU.
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