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New format for the Energy Label and ecodesign requirements for household refrigerating appliances and TVs

European Commission - MEMO/09/144   31/03/2009

Other available languages: none

MEMO/09/144

Brussels, 31 March 2009

New format for the Energy Label and ecodesign requirements for household refrigerating appliances and TVs

On 30 and 31 March 2009, the Commission submitted for endorsement by the Committee of Member States, draft Directives for the energy labelling of household refrigerating appliances, televisions, washing machines and dishwashers.

Fridges and freezers, washing machines and dishwashers (as well as washer-dryers, tumble dryers, lamps, ovens, air-conditioners) are already labelled since the mid/end 90s. TVs are currently not yet labelled.

The energy Label requires the manufacturers to declare how energy efficient/inefficient their products are and to supply a label to retailers who have to display the label on the appliances shown in shops. The aim is to provide credible and comparable information on the performance of the products to consumers before they make their purchasing decision.

For all four product categories the Labelling directives are accompanied by Ecodesign regulations, which set out the minimum level of efficiency that the appliances have to meet in view of being placed on the market.

The new Label layout - Main characteristics:

Since it was introduced by the Commission in the mid 90s, the energy label was so successful that today most products are in the "A" class. There was a need to go "beyond A", to allow manufacturers to further compete by developing products that are more and more efficient and to show how much better they are for consumers who could then make well informed choices. By buying more energy efficient appliances, consumers might pay higher upfront prices but make a profit on the lifetime of the appliance by saving on the running costs.

The new label:

  • Is based on the A-G well known coloured scheme;
  • Pre-defined additional classes e.g. "A-20%, A-40% ..." are added to the label on top of class A with a frequency which depends on the product category and which is pre-defined in the Directives. The black arrow shall display how much better the product is compared with an A class product;
  • In principle, the energy efficiency class of a particular model already on the market remains unchanged (A is A);
  • For fridges/freezers, there will be a transition with A+ fridges corresponding to A-20%, A++ will be equivalent to A-40%;
  • Manufacturers who can put a product on the market that is more efficient than the top class can show it on the label ahead of the date on which the display of a "higher" class becomes mandatory;
  • The design of the new label is clearly different from the current design, i.e. new labels can be clearly distinguished from existing labels during the transition period;
  • The label is "language-neutral" – using pictograms - so that suppliers will provide the label in one piece without having costs for adapting to local language versions. This will also ensure that the full label is shown in shops (and not just the strip);
  • The top class arrow on the left side of the label shall always be shown in dark green (as for the current A class colour). That means that the colours will be uplifted each time a higher class is introduced. Classes at the bottom will be in dark red (same as G colour today). The message could be "buy green".

Advantages of the new label format:

  • consumers can judge at a glance how much "better than A" a product really is (20% more efficient, 40% more efficient ...), which is not the case with the current "A+/A++" naming of top efficiency fridges and freezers;
  • manufacturers can show in "real time" how much "better than A" a product really is, which is not the case with the current system, not allowing to show "better than A++" for fridges/freezers, and "better than A" for the other labelled products;
  • there will be no confusion for consumers between new and old classes as would have been the case if products had been reclassified;
  • retailers will have no additional burden for the transition from "old" to "new" format, and it will be easier for the manufacturers and the retailers to label in practise (full label is in the box, ready to be displayed in the show room).

Impact of the new label format:

  • more incentives for innovation, resulting in an accelerated "race" for top efficient products;
  • boosting of market transformation towards high efficiency products, and ultimately;
  • energy and CO2 savings.

Examples of the new label format:


[Graphic in PDF & Word format]


[Graphic in PDF & Word format]

TV label from 2012 Refrigerator/freezer label from 2012

Ecodesign requirements for household refrigerating appliances

Application date
Energy Efficiency Index (EEI)
1 July 2010
EEI < 55
i.e. equivalent to removing current classes B,C and below
1 July 2012
EEI < 44
i.e. equivalent to removing current class A (current classes A+ and above will remain)
1 July 2014
EEI < 42
i.e. only current classes A+ and above will remain

Ecodesign requirements for household washing machines

Application date
Energy Efficiency Index (EEI)
1 July 2010
EEI < 68
i.e. equivalent to removing current classes B,C and below
1 July 2013
EEI < 59 with rated capacity c ≥ 4kg
i.e. equivalent to removing current class A (=only current classes A+ and above will remain)

Ecodesign requirements for TVs

Stage 1: expected July 2010 (one year after entry into force of regulation)

On-mode power consumption of "full HD" resolution (1920 x 1080 pixels) TVs:
On-mode power consumption of TVs with all other resolutions:
20 Watts + A ∙ 1.12 ∙ 4.3224 Watts/dm2
20 Watts + A ∙ 4.3224 Watts/dm2

This means: Only TVs with energy efficiency better than the current average can be placed on the market (A is the screen area of the television, expressed in dm2).

Stage 2: 1 April 2012

On-mode power consumption, all resolutions:
16 Watts + A ∙ 3.4579 Watts/dm2

This means: Only TVs with an energy efficiency at least 20% better than the current average can be placed on the market (corresponding to energy efficiency class "C" or better in the new labelling system for TVs).


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