Proper labelling: An updated guide to the legal obligations of distrubutors

Stromstecker und das EU-Energielabel

The results of the nationwide Action Days on the Energy Label 2017 have clearly shown: There is still room for improvement in complying with the legal labelling requirements that are used in commerce. The National Top Runner Initiative (NTRI) has provided a guide for this purpose.


Market surveillance authorities conducted nationwide monitoring on the labelling requirements necessary to the energy label as used in commerce. The energy label serves the consumer as an important decision-making aid in the purchase of energy-efficient products while also acting as an incentive to innovation for manufacturers and industry. Distributors (consumer electronics stores, furniture stores, kitchens, online retailers, etc.) of so-called energy-related products were checked to see if they should be provided with the energy label in accordance with legal requirements. Of the more than 1,000 distributors that were surveyed, 38% were found to be inadequate. Of the over 100,000 surveyed devices, the level of complaints was around 7%. The NTRI guide helps to inform about the current guidelines, thus bringing down the amount of future complaints.

The NTRI supports distributors, manufacturers and other stakeholders with information and events. It was commissioned by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) and is run by a consortium that is led by adelphi and consists of Edelman.ergo, Fraunhofer Institute for Reliability and Microintegration IZM, Wuppertal Institute and the Austrian Energy Agency. In addition to the guide, the NTRI also provides free informational and training materials for sales consultants.