EU energy labelling
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As of 30 March 2019, all EU law will cease to apply to the UK, unless a ratified withdrawal agreement establishes another date, or the European Council and the UK decide unanimously to extend the two-year negotiation period. For more information about the legal repercussions for businesses:
Energy labels show how an appliance ranks on a scale from A to G according to its energy consumption. Class A (green) is the most energy efficient and Class G (red) the least. Currently - once most appliances of a given type reach Class A - up to 3 further classes can be added to the scale; A+, A++ and A+++.
Due to improved energy efficiency in many products, more and more appliances are ranked within the A+, A++ and A+++ grades. This has proven to be confusing for consumers so the decision has been taken to phase out these rankings over the next few years. The new grading system will revert back to the A to G rankings (without the A+, A++ and A+++) although this scale will run alongside the current grades for some time until completely phased out.
What are the benefits?
Energy labels enable customers to choose products that consume less energy and thereby save money. Labels can also encourage companies to develop and invest in energy-efficient product design.
Which products require labels?
Energy labels are mandatory for all appliances sold in the EU for which a label requirement (or regulation) exists. They must be clearly displayed on each appliance at the point of sale.
So if you make or import household appliances be sure to check whether they comply with the relevant directive and related legislation (see: "What do I need to do?" below).
Products that require energy labels
- Products that require energy labels
- Air conditioners
- Cooking appliances (domestic)
- Dishwashers (household)
- Heaters (space and water heaters)
- Lamps (directional and LED)
- Lamps (household)
- Lamps (fluorescent)
- Local space heaters
- Refrigerating appliances (household)
- Refrigeration (professional)
- Solid fuel boilers
- Tumble dryers
- Vacuum cleaners
- Ventilation units (residential)
- Washing machines (household)
The Directive applies to appliances and any other products likely to have a direct or indirect impact on the consumption of energy and other potential resources during use, i.e. energy-related products. It does not apply to second-hand products or to means of transport for persons or goods.
What do I need to do?
Any appliance you sell for which a label exists must have such a label containing information on how much energy it uses. You'll also need to publish technical documentation (see: "What are delegated regulations?" below).
Labels and product information must be provided to dealers free of charge. If you are a dealer, you must affix labels so that they are visible and legible.
What if I sell my products over the internet, via catalogue, etc?
If you do distance selling - for example over the internet - you must in some way provide your clients with the product information described in the Directive and related legislation.
For internet sales, the following rules should be adhered to:
- the energy label corresponding to the advertised product must be clearly displayed (in proximity to the price of the product), or;
- if the energy label is not shown, the energy class must be displayed (using a nested arrow - which should itself be a link to the corresponding energy label).
The 'nested arrows' and energy labels can be created via the two tools mentioned above (Energy Label Generator and the InDesign templates).
What are the delegated regulations?
The delegated regulations for labelling of household appliances explain what criteria your product must meet in order to comply with the Directive on energy labelling. This includes:
- what information you must make available
- how your product will be labelled according to its level of energy-consumption
- where product labels must be affixed.
On the webpage linked to above, you will also find very useful templates that you can use to print out your energy labels.
Sometimes industry takes the initiative to define voluntary agreements for a given product group. These agreements may deliver the policy objectives faster or more cost-effectively than mandatory requirements.
You should also check whether your product is covered by European standards for ecodesign and energy labelling. The standards will help you comply with the directive.