New energy label for household appliances

The new energy labels feature a new scale from A to G. The old scale, which began with A+++ and ends with G (with A++, A+, A, B, C, etc. in between), failed to give consumers a clear enough idea of what exactly they were buying.

The new labels, introduced on 1 March 2021, have also refined the testing method and classification criteria. For that reason, a product that used to have an A+++ rating may suddenly have a B or C on the new label.

What is more, no appliances at all were given an A to begin with. The A label has been reserved for appliances that are even more efficient than the existing ones, and which will only come onto the market in the future. That way there is a greater margin for technological developments in the years to come.

But why exactly was the energy label scale changed?

Over the years, appliances have become increasingly efficient. That means that more and more appliances got the very top scores in the old system, and it became more difficult to distinguish between the different products.

Some consumers got overwhelmed and simply assumed that A-rated products were the best on the market. In fact, an A rating wasn’t particularly good.

That is why the European Union decided to completely overhaul the rules for energy labels.

Four categories of appliance have had the new labels since 1 March 2021.

The new scale being used since then initially applies to four categories of household electrics:

  • domestic washing machines and combined washer-dryers (not tumble dryers!);
  • electronic screen devices (televisions and computer screens);
  • refrigeration appliances (fridges, freezers and wine coolers);
  • domestic dishwashers.

Light sources (electric lightbulbs) have also had the new energy labels since 1 September 2021.

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