Energy labelling on household appliances is not new. Since 1995, all buyers in the European Union have been able to distinguish those which are most energy efficient.
However, many things have changed in the last 25 years, and there has been continuous improvement in the performance of appliances. For this reason, the labelling of household appliances has been redefined to reflect basic information much more clearly to help control energy expenditure and to protect the environment.
What does the new labelling of household appliances involve
The change of labelling that entered into force on 1 March 2021 affects five types of household appliances: refrigerators, freezers and wine coolers, washers and dryers, dishwashers and electronic displays (including TVs and monitors).
The labelling of household appliances will have 7 energy categories, with a classification scale ranging from A to G. The A classifies the products with the lowest energy consumption and highest efficiency. On the contrary, the G encompasses those with a higher consumption and lower energy efficiency
The new labelling does not mean a change in the characteristics of the product, but it does mean that its classification can be changed.
This brings us to the two main reasons that have led to its change:
The first, the greater confusion within the higher categories. Since the inclusion of categories A+, A++ and A+++ in category A, consumers have had greater difficulty in distinguishing greater efficiency.
The second, and most important, is in the continuous improvement of household appliances. This means that one that may have been a category A+ a few years ago may now have a lower category such as B or C. As such, we have adapted to the new test methods approved by the European Commission.
Where the new labelling of appliances is shown
Labelling must be shown on a mandatory basis, in all establishments, both in physical and online stores.
The new labelling of household appliances is also adapted to new technologies. To this end, it incorporates a QR code that allows consumers to access the data and characteristics of each model from their phone.
The aim is to provide clearer and more accessible information so that the consumer can better choose which appliance to buy.
How energy efficiency is determined
The basis of this change in the labelling of household appliances is in the new methods for measuring their energy efficiency.
In all honesty, the way in which the tests are carried out by the manufacturers do not change, but they incorporate modifications that reflect real new uses.
For example, one of the changes in the measurement scales of household appliances has taken place to adapt (in certain cases) to more intensive uses (such as monitors and televisions), including standby consumption.
Consumption has also been updated and taken into account in lower load programmes in washing machines and dishwashers (ecological), being updated to the most frequent types of consumers.
There are also new, more efficient technologies that reduce energy consumption and redefine this scale.