Upgrading EU energy efficiency labelling: Industry MEPs amend draft EU rules
A clear A to G scale for labelling the energy efficiency of household appliances should replace the proliferating pluses in today's top class (A+, A++, A+++) within 5 years, said Industry, Research and Energy Committee MEPs on Tuesday. The proposal for a new EU regulation aims to ensure that consumers are not misled into thinking that a A class appliance is one of the most efficient on the market, whereas under current rules it may in fact be one of the least efficient.
New labels and rescaling
MEPs amended a draft EU regulation proposing that "rescaled labels for existing product groups" be introduced within five years of its entry into force, so as "to ensure a homogenous A-G scale". Any future rescale should aim for a validity period of at least 10 years, say MEPs, who laid down the following trigger criteria for future rescales:
- when 25% of the products sold within the EU market fall into the top energy efficiency class A; or
- when 50% of the products sold within the EU market fall into the top two energy efficiency classes A+B.
In any new rescaling or labelling, class A should at first be empty, and in product groups showing rapid technological progress, classes A and B should both be empty at first, say MEPs.
When energy classes F and G are not allowed for some product groups, these should be shown on the label in grey, and the standard dark green to red spectrum of the label should be retained for the remaining upper classes, they add.
Clear and legible label
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.
Suppliers and dealers would have to refer to the energy efficiency class of the product in any visual advertisement or technical promotional material for a specific model of product.
Transparent and handy information for customers
MEPs advocate setting up a "product database" consisting of a consumer-website, where information is individually accessible, and a “compliance” interface, i.e. an electronic platform supporting the work of national market surveillance authorities, available in all the languages of the countries where the products are placed on the market.
MEPs also inserted exemptions from the new energy efficiency rules, for:
- second-hand products (i.e. all those that have been put into service before being made available on the market for a second or additional time), and
- means of transport whose motor stays in the same location during operation, such as elevators, escalators and conveyor belts
The full House will need to vote in an upcoming plenary session on a mandate for starting the negotiations with the Council of Ministers.
- Energy efficiency = the ratio of output of performance, service, goods or energy, to input of energy
- Rescaling = an exercise to make the requirements for achieving an energy class a particular product group more stringent.