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What do the labels on household appliances mean?

The energy label indicates whether a household appliance is more or less efficient. A good rating in this respect will ensure that your refrigerator, washing machine or dishwasher you cost you less when you receive your electricity bills.

When you buy a washing machine, dishwasher or TV we pay great attention to the technical aspects. We become amateur experts in washing programmes, in screen sizes, or in image resolutionstandards. We also think about the aesthetic aspects. And logically you pay special attention to the price.

All this is absolutely normal. But if you forget about the energy label you are making a mistake which you will cost you money. Remember that 55% of the electricity you spend is for your appliances.

That incomprehensible sticker with an icon that normally goes from A to G is not ornamental. It is there to inform you about the consumption of the appliance concerned. And not only the consumption of electricity, but also the water it uses or the noise that it makes while it's operating.

 

History of the energy label

Energy labels began to be implemented in 1995, but only for refrigerators, freezers, washing machines and dishwashers. With the passage of the years they were extended to ovens, televisions, air conditioners, etc.

Today this labelling is compulsory and is regulated by European Union Directive 92/75/EEC. They indicate the energy efficiency of each appliance. The more efficient it is the less it consumes and, therefore, the more you save in your electricity bill.

The label format has changed over the years. For example, initially the scale was A to G. However it became necessary to invent higher categories,,since fortunately appliances had become even more efficient.

“The original scale (from A to G) became obsolete and A +, A ++, and A +++ ratings soon appeared, while E, F and G disappeared.”

Thus successive + symbols were added to the letter A, which initially symbolised the maximum efficiency. And the letters that identified lower efficiency (such as F and G) started to disappear.

The mutations of this scale confused consumers, who saw the letter A change from meaning "the best" to meaning "standard tending towards bad".

In August 2017 the European Commission enacted a new "rescaling": classes A +, A ++ and A +++ will now disappear and the original classification from A to G will return. Class A appliances will again become the top of the pyramid of energy efficiency and the venerable +++ will be suppressed.

This new labelling will not appear immediately or all at the same time, either. The first reclassified labels will not come in until 2020 and only in 2030 is it expected that all products will follow the new system.

So let's focus on the present. Appliances that are currently in your home and any that you can buy at the moment do not follow the new scale. So we will explain to you the workings of the old one, which will remain effective until 2020.

 

The energy indicator: the most and the least efficient devices

This type of design mimics the logic of the traffic light, shading colours from maximum efficiency (green) to the minimum level (red).

What it does is compare the consumption of the different generations of appliances, with 100% representing the consumption of the least efficient devices. The top and bottom of the scale are represented by A +++ (excellence in energy efficiency) and D (devices that are beginning to become obsolete).

Highly efficient consumption:

  • A +++. Dark green, it represents consumption of less than 25%.
  • A ++. With its intermediate green colour, it symbolizes consumption of less than 30%.
  • A +. Its pale green colour represents consumption estimated as from 30% to 42%.

Moderately efficient consumption:

  • A. Yellow in colour, it offers average consumption between 42% and 55%.
  • B. Identified by the colour orange, it represents consumption of between 55% and 75%.

Low efficiency of consumption:

  • C. Bright orange in colour, it represents a consumption level of between 75% and 90%.
  • D. Red in colour, it indicates that it has a consumption level of between 90% and 100%.
“In 2020 the current scale (from A+++ to D) will be replaced by the original scale (from A to G)”

How much do you save with the A +++ label?

Let's go back to the beginning: you buy an appliance and you pay attention solely and exclusively to the technical aspects and the price. A big mistake.

Checking the energy label will save you money. No doubt a more efficient appliance may be more expensive at the time of buying it, but you start recovering this difference in price when you get your electricity bills.

In the following table you can see how much you save when you change an old appliance for a class A +++ one.

 

Refrigerators

Assuming that the refrigerator is connected 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

Class
Annual consumption Annual savings Annual savings
A+++ 132 kWh - -
A++ 197 kWh 6,50 euros 65 euros
A+ 262 kWh 13 euros 130 euros
A 328 kWh 19,60 euros 196 euros
B 447 kWh 31,50 euros 315 euros
C 565 kWh 43,30 euros 433 euros
D 657 kWh 52,50 euros 525 euros

Washing machines

With an estimates 220 loads a year with a combination of washes ranging from 60oC to 40oC.

Class Annual consumption
Annual savings
10-year savings
A+++ 302 kWh - -
A++ 342 kWh 4 euros 40 euros
A+ 388 kWh 8,60 euros 86 euros
A 445 kWh 14,30 euros 143 euros
B 502 kWh 20 euros 200 euros
C 570 kWh 26,80 euros 268 euros
D 638 kWh 33,60 euros 330 euros

Dishwashers

With an estimated 160 washes a year.

Class Annual consumption
Annual savings
10-year savings
A+++ 271 kWh - -
A++ 305 kWh 3,40 euros 34 euros
A+ 344 kWh 7,30 euros 73 euros
A 389 kWh 11,80 euros 118 euros
B 438 kWh 16,70 euros 167 euros
C 492 kWh 22,10 euros 221 euros
D 541 kWh 27 euros 270 euros
“If your appliances are very efficient (A +++ label) you can save more than €100 a year, every year, in electricity bills.”

Energy savings with an hourly rate

Although you will not be able to turn off the fridge when you don't want to use it (unless you are going to be a long time away from home ), it is clear that you only use washing machines at certain times. And the same goes for the dishwasher.

If you want to save money, in addition to having efficient appliances you need a rate that will allow you to choose choose the times at which you need to consume most electricity. The Endesa Happy Tempo rate lets you choose 2 hhours per day (or 1 day a week) in which you do not pay anything for your electricity consumption Yes, that's right!: nothing, free of charge.

Be efficient with your energy... and also with your money.

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