A new, tougher, A to G scale showing the energy efficiency of household appliances should be introduced, to keep pace with technological progress, said MEPs voting on an EU Commission proposal on Wednesday. Most appliances on the market now meet the “class A” requirements first set in 2010, so ever more pluses (A+, A++, A+++) are being added, note MEPs, who argue that setting tougher requirements will create incentives to improve energy efficiency still further.
“Today´s vote gave new life to the Energy Efficiency Label, making the labelling system stronger, safer, clearer and future-oriented. Innovations such as the database, the Quick Response code and above all the reference to smart appliances set the framework for a new ´energy label 2.0´” said rapporteur Dario Tamburrano (EFDD, IT) after the vote.
“I am sure that the negotiations with the Council will further enhance its potential to serve at the best the interests of European citizens and become one of the most powerful tools to achieve our EU energy efficiency goals”, he added.
MEPs approved Parliament’s position on the proposed update by 580 votes to 52, with 79 abstentions with a view to starting negotiations with the Council on the final form of the legislation.
"Rescaled labels for existing product groups" should be introduced within 21 months and 6 years (depending on product type) of the entry into force of the legislation, so as "to ensure a homogenous A-G scale", says the amended text. Any future rescale should aim for a validity period of at least 10 years, and be triggered when 25% 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+B.
When introducing new rescaling or labelling, class A, (and in product groups showing rapid technological progress, classes A and B) should be empty at first, say MEPs.
When energy classes F and G are not allowed for certain product groups, these should be shown on the label in grey, and the standard dark green to red spectrum of the label should cover A-E, they add.
Energy efficiency information on labels and ads
The label should contain information about the energy efficiency class of the product model and its absolute consumption in kWh, displayed per year or per “any relevant period of time”, says the text.
Real-life testing conditions
The testing methods and environment, "both for suppliers and market surveillance authorities, should be as close as possible to the real-life usage of a given product by the average consumer", say MEPs, who ask the European Commission to publish EU "transitional measurement and calculation methods in relation to those product-specific requirements."
Transparent compliance information for customers
MEPs advocate setting up a "product database" consisting of a consumer website, with information on each product, and a “compliance” interface, i.e. an electronic platform supporting the work of national market surveillance authorities, available in the country’s languages.
Energy efficiency labelling legislation applies to energy-related products which have a significant direct or indirect impact on the consumption of energy.
Second-hand products and means of transport whose motor stays in the same location during operation, such as elevators, escalators and conveyor belts are exempted.
The file is referred back to the Industry, Research and Energy Committee in order to start negotiations directly with the Council of Ministers.