Simple energy labels could be introduced by 2020

Energy labelling was first introduced twenty years ago and has played a major role in encouraging the development of energy efficient products. However, the abundance of new technologies on the market and the complexity of each has resulted in a complicated energy classification system.

For instance, many products are placed in the top classes (A+++, A++ and A+) whilst the levels below remain empty. This means that customers may be buying A+ appliances under the impression that they’re some of the most efficient products on the market, when in actual fact, they’re the least efficient.

In order to make it easier for consumers to identify the best performing products, the European Commission is proposing a reclassification of all products under a straightforward A to G energy label, with the intention to encourage consumers to choose the most efficient technologies.

The Commission has also proposed the introduction of an online database where all products on the EU market are listed to provide greater transparency and accessible market surveillance for national authorities.

These proposals are in line with the ‘Energy Efficiency First’ principle of the Energy Union Strategy, which aims to make the EU energy system more sustainable via well-informed consumer choices.

If the proposal is accepted (which could take up to a year) the Commission would implement the energy label changes within five years.

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