Negotiators of the European Parliament and the Council agreed today on a revised energy efficiency label and the relevant regulatory framework. The current A+++ to G labels for products will be replaced by a clear and easier to use A to G labels.
This will make energy labels more understandable for consumers and help them make better informed purchasing choices. The measure will be accompanied by the introduction of a public database making it easier for citizens to compare the energy efficiency of household appliances.
Consumer surveys show that about 85% of European citizens look at energy efficiency labels when they purchase products. Having the best performing ones in the A+ to A+++ categories was misleading and hid potential substantial differences in energy performance. Giving consumers more accessible information about the energy consumption of products and appliances will make it easier to identify the most efficient appliances.
Vice President for Energy Union Maroš Šefčovič said: "Technological innovations allow European citizens to enjoy the most advanced products on the market; it was therefore high time to bring our labelling scale up to date. The new labels will be empowering consumers to take energy efficiency into account when choosing their next electric products."
Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy, Miguel Arias Cañete, added: "This deal is good news for Europe's consumers and businesses, our energy bills and the climate. The revised energy efficiency label – together with ecodesign – can save households close to €500 per year, increase manufacturers and retailers overall revenue by over €65 billion per year and save to the annual energy consumption of Italy and all the Baltic countries combined."
- A return to the clearer A to G class label, by removing the cumbersome A+ to A+++ classes from existing energy labels within a well-defined timeframe;
- The introduction of a product registration database to support market surveillance activities by the Member States;
- A public database containing all energy efficiency labels, giving consumers a better tool to compare the energy efficiency of household appliances;
- Future-proofing the legislation by introducing provisions on software updates and smart appliances, and explicitly banning the use of defeat devices.
Following today's political agreement (a 'trilogue' negotiation between the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission), the text will have to be formally approved by the European Parliament and the Council. Once endorsed by both co-legislators, the revised Energy Efficiency Labelling Regulation will be published in the Official Journal of the Union.
Energy efficiency first is a central principle of the Energy Union strategy. Energy efficiency it an effective way to cut emissions, bring savings to consumers and reduce the EU's fossil fuel import dependency. Since its introduction twenty years ago, the success of energy labelling has encouraged the development of ever more energy efficient products. This has resulted in the current label becoming too complex. In July 2015, the Commission proposed returning to the original A to G energy label scale, simpler and well understood by consumers (see MEMO/15/5350).