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Brussels, 28 September 2010

Energy savings: Commission sets up new energy labels for televisions, refrigerators, dishwashers and washing machines

The European Commission today for the very first time proposed energy labels for TVs. For refrigerators, dishwashers and washing machines the existing label scheme will be updated Energy labels help consumers choosing products which save energy and thus money. They also provide incentives for industry to develop and invest in energy efficient product design.

Energy Commissioner Günther Oettinger said: "Energy labels move the market towards highly energy efficient products which is a major contribution to reaching Europe's energy efficiency, competitiveness and climate change goals. At the same time, they save money for consumers"

For televisions, which represent almost 10% of the average household's electricity bill, it will be the first time ever that manufacturers will have to declare the energy efficiency of their products, using an A to G scale. The label must be clearly shown on the TV set and in advertisements, if the prize of TV is mentioned.

Energy labelling of refrigerators-freezers, dishwashers and washing machines has already been hugely successful since its introduction in 1992: today 90% of appliances sold in the EU are in class "A" – the best existing class. However, new technologies would allow reducing by half the energy consumption of an A-class product. The EU has therefore decided to extend the scale upwards with three new classes: "A+", "A++", and "A+++" for products with a better than A-performance.

The appliances covered by the regulations adopted today represent one third of a household's electricity bill a year. The new labels will therefore have a positive impact on consumers' household expenses.

The four regulations for these labels will now have to be agreed by the European Parliament and Council. The Regulations enters into force 12 months after publication in the Official Journal.

Background information:

Energy labels are adopted by the European Commission on a product by product basis within the framework of the energy labelling Directive 2010/30/EU. They include the following information:

  • ranking of products according to their energy efficiency consumption on an A to G scale, the A class (green) being the most energy efficient appliances and the G class (red) the least. Once the majority of products in a certain category reach class A, up to three classes (A+/A++/A+++) may be added on top of class A (in that case, the colour of class A becomes yellow as green is always the colour of the best class).

  • annual energy consumption or energy consumption per cycle

  • other information which relates to the use of energy or other resources: e.g. water consumption, volume of the appliance etc.

Energy labels are mandatory for all appliances placed on the EU market and must always be clearly displayed on each appliance at the point of sale.

Further information on energy labelling is available here.

Please see also MEMO/10/451

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