Energy labelling: making it easier to buy energy-efficient appliances

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Using energy more efficiently is one of the easier ways to cut your bills. Many household appliances, such as lamps, televisions and vacuum cleaners, carry a standardised label to help assess their energy efficiency, The European Commission is now proposing to simplify this labelling system to make it even easier for consumers to compare. Parliament’s energy committee approved it on 14 June and will now have to be voted on by all MEPs during an upcoming plenary session. Check out our infographic to find out how energy consumption is measured and how much it costs.

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Energy efficiency is about being able to provide the same performance with less energy. To promote it, the EU introduced the first energy label in 1994, classifying applicances from G (least efficient) to A (most efficient). As manufacturers improved the efficiency of their products, the label was extended to A+++. However, the introduction of A+ and higher classes reduced the effectiveness of the energy label as most products now tended to be in Class A or higher.

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The Commission is now proposing to restore the original A-G scale and to establish a mechanism for rescaling to accommodate further improvements in energy efficiency without having to create new classes. The proposal also includes measures to improve the monitoring of national markets and the creation of a new product database.

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On 14 June Parliament’s energy committee approved a draft report proposing changes to the original Commission proposal. For more details on how MEPs amended the original plans, check out the press release.

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