When buying a new electronic device, energy efficiency plays an important role. A low-cost device can quickly become expensive due to high power consumption. Until now, it was enough just to take a look at the EU energy label. The energy efficiency class is indicated on the label with a scale from A+++ to G. In the future, consumers will be able to make their decision even easier!
EU energy label and its origins
The energy label was first introduced in 1994 for a number of domestic appliances and extended to other appliances in 2004. It is of great help to consumers and contributes to their choice for more energy-efficient products. At the same time, manufacturers are encouraged to innovate by using more energy-efficient technologies.
According to the special Eurobarometer 492 survey carried out by the European Commission, 93% of consumers know and appreciate the energy label and 79% take it into account when buying energy-efficient products.
In 2006, for example, around two thirds of refrigerators and washing machines sold were labelled as Class A products, while by 2017 90% of appliances sold were already in Class A+, A++ or A+++.
New EU energy label
As an increasing number of energy-efficient products are developed and the difference between classes A++ and A+++ is less obvious to consumers, the classes are gradually being adapted to return to a simpler scale from A to G.
To be more specific, five product groups will receive a new scale during 2021, i.e. they will be “rescaled”. These product groups are:
- refrigeration units
- washing machines
- electronic displays (e.g. television sets)
After rescaling, a product with an energy efficiency class A+++ could, for example, be assigned to class B without changing its energy consumption.
Class A will initially be empty to leave room for more energy-efficient models. This will allow consumers to distinguish more clearly between the most energy-efficient appliances. At the same time, this should be an incentive for manufacturers to further invest in research and innovation and to develop more energy-efficient technologies.
In addition to the information on the energy consumption of the product, the label may also provide detailed data on other important usage characteristics such as noise emissions or water consumption.
In order to reduce the consumption of energy and other natural resources in the interest of greater sustainability worldwide, more efficient products are needed. EU eco-design legislation is an effective tool to improve the environmental performance of products, as it sets mandatory minimum standards for their energy efficiency. The least efficient products are thus squeezed out of the market, which contributes significantly to the EU’s energy efficiency goal.
By promoting better environmental performance of products throughout the internal market, eco-design rules also support industrial competitiveness and innovation. On 1 October 2019, the European Commission adopted 10 measures for the product categories listed below:
- washing machines and dryers
- electronic displays
- domestic refrigerators
- light sources
- cooling appliances with a direct sales function
- external power supplies
- electric motors
- power transformers
- welding equipment
Eight of these measures are revisions of existing legislation. For the first time, cooling appliances with a direct sales function and welding appliances are the subject of relevant legislation.
An important change is that the new eco-design legislation includes elements to further improve the reparability and recyclability of appliances. Some of the new measures include requirements to ensure, for example, the availability of spare parts, easier replacement of key parts and access to repair and maintenance information by skilled technicians.
Transition from the old to the new EU energy label
The transition to this new classification will be gradual. From 01 March 2021, they will be available in shops and on the Internet. In addition, further information for citizens will also be available through a QR code. This code is located on the label and is to contain data from the datasheets that the manufacturers are currently entering into the EU database ERPEL.
For lighting, retailers have two years until March 1 2023 to mark all lamps with the new labels.
More information on your label with QR codes
Weber Marking Systems offers many labeling systems to provide your product with additional data using QR codes, barcodes or even data matrix codes. Whether printed directly onto the product with ink or laser engraving or on a label, we have the right solution for you. In our current white paper you will find tips on how to invest in the right printing system.