Brussels gives green light for new EU energy label system

Which energy classes apply to which appliances will in future once again be presented with the letters A through G. The complicated A+++ classes will disappear when the new EU energy label framework regulation on energy consumption labelling takes effect. 


Many appliances such as washing machines, fridges and TVs bear an energy label. The most efficient are labelled with the efficiency classes A to A +++. However, these "plus classes" reduce both the clarity and effectiveness of the labelling scheme. The EU Commission has recognised this need for action and has now created the legal basis for newly regulating efficiency classes. The new EU Energy Regulation adopted at EU level in the spring of this year will take effect on 1 August 2017. The legal framework lays the groundwork for the gradual conversion of the EU label, with the bewildering A +++ classes, back to an easily understood and clear A to G scale. The energy metre, with the colour scale (green = very efficient) to red (inefficient), has been in effect for 20 years and provides consumers with information on the energy consumption of more than 16 product categories ranging from classic household appliances to TVs and even boilers. By January 2019, the European Commission will revise the detailed technical requirements for each appliance. After that, the first devices with the new energy label will come onto the market.

For suppliers, manufacturers, importers, dealers and market oversight authorities, the reorganisation involves some changes. For example, suppliers and dealers will have to make stronger reference to the efficiency class of the product in their advertising. After that, all visual advertising or technical advertising material for a given model must indicate the energy efficiency class of the product and the range of efficiency classes available on the label. This means, for example, for a washing machine of the efficiency class A+++ that the spectrum (A +++ to D) must additionally be indicated.

The details of the changes are presented here (in German) in more detail. The National Top Runner Initiative (NTRI) supports dealers, manufacturers, and other stakeholders with information and events. The NTRI is being carried out under adelphi’s leadership by a consortium consisting of Edelman.ergo, the Fraunhofer Institute for Reliability and Microintegration IZM, the Wuppertal Institute, and the Austrian Energy Agency on behalf of the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi).