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Energy efficiency labels are changing (again!)

Posted by Chloe Lloyd on 27 April 2017 at 10:03 am

Have you upgraded any appliances in your home lately? If so, you may have noticed that items such as refrigerators or televisions are rated in terms of their energy efficiency between A +++ to G. Everyone hoped that these ratings would allow you make an informed choice to buy the most energy efficient product, but for many people the extra categories have left them confused. How would you know that the A+ wasn’t the best if the shop didn’t have an A++ model right next to it? Well, you may be pleased to find out that as of the 21st March, it was agreed that these are all about to change (again!).

The Energy Labelling directive first included household appliances in 2008 and then saw the introduction of the additional ‘plus categories’ in 2010.  However, a recent review has found that these additional ratings have left many unmotivated (or too confused) to choose more efficient products, especially when they are compared to the previous, more simplified ratings. On top of that, many items such as refrigerators are now made at an A+ standard as a minimum anyway, so it has become much harder to clearly differentiate between an A+ or A +++ refrigerator1

All products will be looked to be rescaled, but before you rush out and buy that new TV you’ve had your eye on, it’s likely that this will take a number of years. White goods (so dishwashers, fridges and washing machines) will take as little as 15 months, TVs and lighting around 6 years whereas more long term products such as heaters and boilers could be between 9 and 13 years. So it’s unlikely we will see all these changes come fully into complete effect until 2030.

What is perhaps most exciting about the announcement is that there are plans to set up a product database to allow consumers to easily compare the efficiency of different products. So there is no excuse for that new TV not to be the most energy efficient as possible. However, you will have to wait two more years for this, as it is expected that the database will be available from 2019.

Although the changes will still need to be formally approved by the Parliament and Council before it comes into force, reverting back to the old A-G rating system should hopefully make it clearer and easier for you to make informed decisions about your energy use within your home.

  1. Energy Saving Trust

Image credit: EU Energy Label, Wikimedia Commons

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1 comments - read them below or add one

Andy in Hawick

Andy in HawickComment left on: 29 April 2017 at 11:49 am

The very fact that we ended up with the '+++' scheme so quickly highlights how unambitious the original ratings were. Let's hope that we don't make the same mistake again and that we leave some room for quantum improvements that are not already embedded in existing products.

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