A new, tougher, A to G scale showing the energy efficiency of household appliances should be introduced to keep pace with technological progress, agreed the Parliament’s and Council’s negotiators on Tuesday.
Customers will be able to choose more efficient products in order to reduce energy consumption and their energy bills, while manufacturers will be encouraged to innovate and invest in more energy efficient products.
“After twenty years, traditional labels for electric products, i.e. fridges and dishwashers, will be upgraded to 2.0 version. They could contain a QR code or a link that allows citizens to access an online database: labels will become bridges to a digital universe containing all those information impossible to be noted just on paper. The creation of a detailed database and digital tools, like smartphone apps, will enable consumers to make immediate comparisons among the products on the market,” said the rapporteur Dario Tamburrano (EFDD, IT).
New scale for existing and upcoming products
The customers should be able to see the first new labels with the new scale without the “+” (“A+/A++/etc.”) indications in shops at the earliest at the end of 2019. To keep pace with energy efficiency improvements, any future rescaling should be triggered when 30% of products sold on the EU market fall into the top energy efficiency class A, or when 50% of these products fall into the top two energy efficiency classes A and B.
Consumers: handy and clear information
The labels will accompany the products in printed format and their online versions and product information will be searchable and downloadable. In the event of updates that would affect the energy efficiency of a product already purchased, the supplier should inform the customer, says the text.
Any visual advertisement or technical promotional material should make reference to the energy efficiency class and to the range of the classes available on the label, and information campaigns for consumers will be carried out in order to highlight the newly introduced versions of the labels.
Parliament’s negotiators asked for a reference to be included in the label to enable customers to identify “energy smart” products – those able to change and optimise their consumption patterns automatically.
In future reviews of the legislation, the Commission will assess the possibility that consumers who purchase energy-related products, whose energy and environmental performance is inferior to that displayed on the energy label, have access to adequate redress, including compensation.
Transparency and compliance
The draft regulation would require the EU Commission to create a product database consisting of a compliance part and an online portal, aiming to support market surveillance authorities and provide consumers with additional information about the products.
The European Commission should also draw up enforcement guidelines for this regulation as regards best practices for product testing and information exchange.
Parliament as a whole and the Council need to adopt the agreement formally before the legislation enters into force.