The energy label helps consumers to assess the running costs when buying new household appliances such as fridges, freezers, washing machines, driers, dishwashers, or ovens. Manufacturers are obliged to indicate the energy consumption irrespective of whether the product performs well (green “A” class) or poorly (red “G” class) on this measure.
Energy label for all energy-using and energy-saving products
In future, the label must also be attached to energy-consuming products for commercial and industrial use, such as cold storage rooms, display cabinets or vending machines, stipulates the co-decision report drafted by Anni Podimata (PES, GR). Additionally, the energy labelling obligation will apply to energy-related products, including construction products, which do not consume energy but "have a significant direct or indirect impact" on energy savings such as window glazing and frames or outer doors, says the directive, as amended by Parliament.
Advertising must indicate energy consumption or saving
Any advertisement promoting technical specifications of a specific model will have to show the product's energy consumption or energy savings, for example, by reference to the energy class, says a provision added by MEPs.
Parliament also laid down that any technical promotional literature such as manuals and manufacturers' brochures - whether printed or offered in the Internet - should indicate the product's energy consumption or energy label.
Regular review of energy labelling classification
MEPs want the Commission to review the energy labelling classification on a recurring regular basis. A product's energy classification should only be valid for 3 to 5 years, says the amended directive, and the classification thresholds should be regularly updated based on "the speed of technological progress of the product".
Tax credits for highly energy-efficient products
Member States should only provide incentives for products meeting the minimum energy efficiency criteria, say MEPs, who recommend tax credits, both for consumers using highly energy-efficient products and for industries that promote and produce such products, and reduced value added tax on materials and components that improve energy efficiency.
Public authorities to procure the most energy-efficient products
Parliament specifies that public authorities should aim to procure products of the highest energy efficiency class and in any event only those products that meet the minimum energy efficiency criteria. This condition applies for all contracts with a value of at least €15,000 (excluding VAT).
MEPs want the Commission to submit a list of priority products to Parliament and the Council no later than six months after the directive's entry into force. The technical details of the directive, such as the energy classes of specific products, will be determined by a Commission working group under the "regulatory procedure with scrutiny".