One of the core principles of the EU proposal to revise energy labels on household products is the reinstatement of simple A-G labels. These will be rescaled regularly when the scales become obsolete.
Remaining vague on the topic, the European Commission’s proposal states that:
- The label scales should last at least ten years before a majority of models falls into the top two classes;
- Labels shall be rescaled periodically;
- (in recital 9) Labels will be rescaled once a majority of product models falls into the top two classes;
- The current labels with A+, A++, A+++ shall all be rescaled within five years.
The Council’s proposal of 6 November 2015 intends to set more precise criteria to trigger the label rescale, but also to apply it evenly to all labels, even current ones with plusses. It states that any label shall be rescaled:
- (a) when 30% of the products sold in the EU fall into the top class
- Or (b) if it is demonstrated that 8 years after the label has been introduced, it is unlikely that the 30% in top class threshold will be met in the following 7 years.
How will each proposal work in practice?
In this paper, key aspects to be considered in setting appropriate criteria for triggering a rescale are outlined.
These aspects are summarised as:
- Setting the criteria on one class or more
- Consequences for existing labels – timeframe for removal of ‘+’s’
- Criteria based on minimum number of populated classes
- Sales versus number of models on the market