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New energy labels introduced across the EU

New energy labels introduced across the EU

March 8, 2021

Shops and online retailers are now required to use new energy labelling that has been introduced across the EU this month and improve repairability that requires manufacturers to keep spare parts available for a number of years after products are no longer on the market.

The roll out of the new energy labelling took effect at the beginning of March EU and initially applies to fridges and freezers, dishwashers, washing machines, and television sets (and other external monitors).

Later this year in September light bulbs and lamps with fixed light sources will have to adopt the same energy labelling with other energy consuming products following over the next few years.

The change is being introduced more products are achieving energy ratings as A+, A++ or A+++ according to the current scale. The new labelling returns to a simpler A-G scale. This scale is stricter and designed so that very few products are initially able to achieve the “A” rating, leaving space for more efficient products to be included in the future.

The most energy efficient products currently on the market will typically now be labelled as “B”, “C” or “D”. A number of new elements will be included on the labels, including a QR link to an EU-wide database, which will allow consumers to find more details about the product. A number of ecodesign rules will also come into force from 1 March – notably on reparability and the need for manufacturers to keep spare parts available for a number of years after products are no longer on the market.

Commissioner for Energy, Kadri Simson, said: “The original energy label has been very successful, saving an average household in Europe several hundred euros per year and motivating companies to invest into research and development. Until the end of February, over 90% of products were labelled either A+, A++ or A+++. The new system will be clearer for consumers and ensure that businesses continue to innovate and offer even more efficient products. This also helps us to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions.”

The layout of the new label is different, with clearer and more modern icons. Like the previous labels, the rescaled labels show more than just the energy efficiency class. A further significant change is the introduction of a QR code on the top right of the new labels. By scanning the QR-code, consumers can find additional information about the product model, such as data relating to the dimensions, specific features or test results depending on the appliance. All appliances on the EU market have to be registered in a new EU-wide database – European Product Registry for Energy Labels (EPREL). This will further facilitate the comparison of similar products in the future.

In addition to the new energy labelling rules, there are corresponding new regulations on ecodesign that take effect on 1 March 2021. These relate notably to the updated minimum efficiency requirements and reinforce consumer rights to repair products and support the circular economy. Manufacturers or importers will now be obliged to make a range of essential parts (motors and motor brushes, pumps, shock absorbers and springs, washing drums, etc.) available to professional repairers for at least 7-10 years after the last unit of a model has been placed on the EU market.

For end-users, too (i.e. consumers who are not professional repairers, but like to repair things themselves), manufacturers must make certain spare parts available for several years after a product is taken off the market –  products such as doors or hinges and seals, which are suitable for DIY action. The maximum delivery time for all these pieces is 15 working days after ordering.

Categories : World Focus

Tags : Energy EU Right to Repair

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