Talks in Brussels yesterday finally reached a compromise on the EU’s revised Energy Labelling Directive.
The European Commission, European Parliament and European Council agreed on a new scale for the energy performance of appliances that goes up to A+++ but only until the Directive is revised again in 2014.
The energy efficiency label will have to be displayed on any ad or material promoting the price or performance of the product, but confusingly the label will only be able to show a maximum of seven classes. So if the appliance is rated as an A+++, the least efficient class shown will be D. However, if the appliance is an A+, then the label will be able to show F as the least efficient class.
Earlier this year, the European Commission proposed introducing A-20%, A-40%, A-60%, etc. classes, but this plan has been ditched.
The introduction of new energy efficiency grades instead of revising the existing A to G ratings has been widely criticised as confusing for consumers.
“No matter how we look at it, there is nothing positive about introducing three additional A-grades,” says Mariangiola Fabbri of WWF.
“We can only hope that despite all the back and forth on labelling, consumers will learn to identify the most efficient products and even more so, buy them,” she adds.
However, the policy makers have left the classification system open for further revision in four years time.
The meeting also failed to ratify an obligation on Member States to purchase the most energy efficient products in public procurement procedures.
In what could be seen as good news, the energy labelling scheme now also applies to commercial and industrial energy-consuming products such as cold storage rooms, display cabinets or vending machines.
Other products that don’t actually consume energy but have an impact on its use, like double-glazed windows or doors, will now also have to carry a label.
The revised Energy Labelling Directive will now go to the European Parliament for endorsement at the beginning of next year.
For further information:
EU gears up to revise energy standards for buildings and appliances (17-Nov)
Greens accuse EU presidency of ‘greenwash’ on energy labelling (4-Nov)
UK slams European energy labelling scheme (3-Apr)
EU energy efficiency labelling goes “beyond A” (1-Apr)
18 November 2009