Last changed: 23/03/12
In late 2011 the revised EU labelling scheme, or EU Energy Label, will apply for some white goods and for television sets. Labelling on other appliances is due to follow.
The following provides answers to general questions about energy consumption labelling. Answers to more specific questions about individual product groups can be found further below.
General labelling issues: What impact has energy consumption labelling had and why is there a new label?
Since its introduction in 1998 the EU energy labelling scheme, or EU Energy Label, has helped to markedly increase the energy efficiency of labeled appliances. Average energy consumption of labeled appliances was reduced by 9% between 2005 and 2010 (GfK Retail and Technology on the energy consumption of major domestic appliances). As a result, most appliances are now in Class A. However, wide-ranging differences in energy consumption within Class A still existed. An interim solution added A+ and A++ arrows for more efficient refrigerators and freezers in 2004. The entire labelling scheme has now been revised to enable distinguishing between products. For a few products like televisions, hoovers or boilers, labels will either be introduced for the first time or re-introduced at a later date. EU Directive 2010/30/EC defines basic conditions whilst EU regulations provide details on every individual product group.
The new A+, A++ and A+++ classes will gradually be added to Efficiency Class A. Since the total number of visible classes is in principle limited to seven, the poorest classes G – E will slowly disappear.
Starting December 2011 the adjusted labels will gradually appear on the market. The dates of their appearance vary, depending on product group. During the transitional period manufacturers may choose to already use the changed labels. As a result, same-type appliances may have different labels; that is, one with the A to G scale, another with A+ to F.
Besides the additional efficiency classes, different symbols illustrating additional product features will also be shown on the labels.
For now, manufacturers can choose to apply the new labels already. Use of the label on new merchandise will be phased in and become obligatory after 2011. The old labels will still be seen during the transitional phase on appliances and units which are already on the market.
If a consumer cannot see a product on display with the energy label, dealers must print them from catalogues or the Internet. For other sales channels, such as telemarketing or other means, dealers must make information about the label and the corresponding fiche available to consumers.
Information on the changed labelling and the corresponding ordinances is provided under the individual product group headings.
The most efficient appliances are in Classes A to A+++. There can be a great deal of variance between these efficiency classes. We have provided a rough estimate of how much energy and money can be saved for many of the individual product groups. This information can be found in the respective product group.
Class A was originally the best efficiency rating and G the poorest. The most efficient appliances are still those in the upper, dark green efficiency class which may now be called A, A+, A++ or A+++. Take time to compare a number of appliances in shops, catalogues or the Internet and see which one has the highest efficiency grade.
The websites listed below provide more information on the energy labelling scheme and efficient appliances.
Information on labelling:
Information on efficient appliances: