In the European Union, many everyday products such as washing machines, refrigerators, domestic boilers and cooking appliances carry energy labels and are designed to meet minimum energy efficiency standards.
Energy labels help consumers choose energy efficient products. Hitherto, the labelling requirements for individual product groups have been created under the EU’s Energy Labelling Directive, a process managed by the European Commission. Products had been labelled on a scale of A+++ (most efficient) to G (least efficient).
In July 2017, a new Energy Labelling Regulation was published that will gradually replace the Directive. In the future, products will be labelled using a simpler A to G scale, as the development of more energy efficient products means that the lowest categories in the previous scale are no longer needed. Consumers will also have access to a database of product labels and information sheets, and defeat devices, which alter a product’s performance under test conditions, will be banned.
The new Energy Labelling Regulation is here. It is in force from 1st August 2017. As a European Regulation it is directly applicable in all member States, without necessary enactment of local law.
Companies can create their own labels for energy efficiency using a range of labelling tools.
Ecodesign regulations require manufacturers to decrease the energy consumption of their products by establishing minimum energy efficiency standards. By setting these standards at European level, manufacturers do not have to navigate through multiple national regulations when launching their products on the market.
The ecodesign requirements for individual product groups are created under the EU’s Ecodesign Directive, process also managed by the European Commission. As an alternative, industry sectors may sign voluntary agreements to reduce the energy consumption of their products. The Commission formally recognises such agreements and monitors their implementation.
The (recast) European Directive (dating 2009) is here.
It is in the UK news that energy inefficient and noisy vacuum cleaners are banned from today (1st Sept 2017), this is the date set out by the vacuum cleaner specific European Regulation made under the EU’s Ecodesign Directive. The European Regulations issued for products covered by the Ecodesign Directive are located from this link.
The European ENERGY STAR Programme is a voluntary energy labelling scheme for office equipment. With the ENERGY STAR logo, consumers can easily identify energy efficient products. It covers office equipment including computers, servers, displays, imaging equipment and UPSs.
ENERGY STAR was started by the US Environment Protection Agency in 1992. The EU agreed to take part in 2001 to include office equipment not carrying an EU energy efficiency label.
Under EU law (Article 6 and Annex III (c) of Directive 2012/27/EU), central governments and EU institutions must purchase office equipment with energy efficiency levels at least equivalent to ENERGY STAR.