EU consumers can expect significant energy and monetary savings following today’s adoption by the European Commission of new rules for the iconic EU energy label,  Coolproducts campaigners said.
The EU energy labels for home appliances are set to become more reliable, visible and impactful, steering consumers towards the best products for their wallets and for the environment.
Coolproducts is a coalition of NGOs led by the European Environmental Bureau (EEB) and ECOS. We work to ensure a better product policy for European citizens and the environment.
The new labels will appear in shops in March 2021 and will initially apply to TVs and displays, commercial and household fridges and freezers, washing machines and wash-dryers, dishwashers, and lighting products.
The European Commission has introduced several improvements that will significantly benefit consumers and the market:
- Reintroduction of the original A-G scale.
The new rules will remove the confusing A+, A++ and A+++, making it easier for consumers to identify the products that are truly efficient.
- Energy efficiency class will be displayed on promotional materials.
The labels will be displayed on promotional materials such as TV commercials and online ads.
- Registration of product information in an EU-wide database.
This will help market surveillance authorities verify that products comply with energy efficiency requirements and that the information on the label is accurate.
Chloé Fayole, Senior Programme Manager with ECOS, said:
“It is a good step forward to reinforce Europe’s pioneering labelling scheme, which steers consumers towards the best products, cuts energy bills and boosts innovation. However, until durability and repairability information is also included, the label will remain incomplete.”
Stephane Arditi, a Policy Manager with the EEB, said:
“The new rules will empower consumers and reward innovation, ensuring the market evolves in line with Europe’s sustainability goals. But products should also be ranked according to their level or repairability and durability, especially smartphones and computers that tend to break and become obsolete too easily.”
The adoption of the new labelling rules is part of a broader package of product measures approved by EU member states in January 2019  in the context of the EU’s Energy Labelling Regulation and Ecodesign Directive. 
Today’s decision follows a broader framework agreement released in 2017 by EU institutions to revamp energy labels and establish a product database.  For now, the reforms will only apply to the above-mentioned products. A similar package of measures will be discussed for more products in the coming years.
 For detailed information on the “Ecodesign and Energy Labelling package”, consult our newly-released briefing. Note that the measures relating to Ecodesign are expected be officially adopted in May 2019.
 Energy labelling guides consumers towards the best products by giving them an A to G ranking. The Ecodesign Directive removes the least energy efficient products from the market by setting standards that demand a minimum level of performance. Standards to make products also more easily repairable and longer-lasting were agreed for the first time in January 2019 and will be officially adopted in May.
A combination of effective Ecodesign and Energy Labelling will lead to an energy saving of about 165 Mtoe (million tonnes of oil equivalent) by 2020, roughly equivalent to the annual primary energy consumption of Italy. This translates into €490 a year in savings on household energy bills and €55 billion in extra revenue for European businesses (European Commission 2017)