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EU Energy Labelling
of the Labelling Directive in 2015, New Label Scale
INFORSE-Europe Press Release on the Summer Package.
2014: The Labelling Directive was evaluated, and in general the conclusion was that the labelling scale A+++ to G has reached its limits and should be reformed in some way because of too high share of products in the top classes.
Energy Labelling Directive 2010, A+++
May 2010: An updated labelling Directive,
2010/30/EU, was adopted. With the directive, the A+++
class can be used. Where it will be used is defined in the
regulations (implementing acts) for specific product groups
that are based on this directive.
Read the directive text at the EU Law Page
Main Products Covered
Most of the products that are covered are household
goods that use substantial energy, including:
Large Gains with Energy Labelling
The energy labels have a good track record in transforming markets, with outstanding examples of refrigerators in the 1990's and TV's in recent years, where new products within a few years primarily populated the top efficiency classes and very few low-efficiency products remained on the market. A study concluded in 2014 that there are many positive effects of energy labels, read here.
INFORSE and Energy Labelling
INFORSE-Europe has a permanent seat in the Consultation Forum, where all labelling regulations are discussed with industry, consumers, environmental organisations and EU countries. We cooperate with the other environmental organisations, such as EEB and ECOS on our inputs to the process as well as more generally in the Cool Products Campaign. We collect our positions etc. on our common website Ecodesign of Products. We develop common positions to better argue for high energy efficiency requirements and good consumer information via labels etc.
SAVE and Energy Labelling (A Bit of History)
Soon after the EU Internal Market was agreed in 1987, proposals were made to set energy efficiency requirements of products. These proposals for national requirements were stopped by the EU Commission because of the EU internal market, where goods should be able to circulate freely. Then in 1992 the EU started to SAVE programme to promote energy efficiency. The programme developed energy labelling (the A-G scale) and energy efficiency requirements for some products. While some the the labelling was successful in guiding consumers on a large scale to improve energy efficiency with their purchases, the process was slow and cumbersome. Each regulation of a product group needed a separate directive. The process managed within a decade to produce 9 labelling directives and 3 directives with minimum energy efficiency requirements.
In 2000, the European Climate Change Programme for EU's implementation of the Kyoto Protocol concluded that a new process was needed. It was proposed to use a process with a framework directive and implementing acts for each product group. Then a process was started to change the procedures This lead to the energy labelling and Ecodesign framework directives that were adopted in 2005. This new process is more effective than the old SAVE programme. Within a decade from the directives were approved more than 40 product groups are covered.
The energy labelling and Ecodesign directives were updated in 2009/2010 to include also energy related products (as windows and showers), and to include a new A+++ energy efficiency class. The update of the labelling directive was delayed because of disputes on the format of the energy label. in this dispute the EU Parliament for the first time went against the decision of the EU Commission and the EU countries on product energy efficiency regulation. The Parliament rejected a bad label design, leading to the compromise of just adding a "+" to the A++, to form a new A+++ class.