Negotiations between the European Parliament, Commission and Council on the revision of EU energy labelling rules came to a close on Tuesday night. The Greens/EFA group welcomes a decision that will see consumers benefit from simplified energy labelling, but regrets the lengthy transition for so many products.
Commenting on the outcome, Green energy spokesperson Jakop Dalunde said:
"Consumers will be able to tell at a glance how much energy a product uses, which will be good for their wallets and for the environment. We also welcome the establishment of a product database that will help consumers get better access to information before purchasing products.
"It is deeply regrettable, however, that consumers will have to wait so long for this to come into force for many items. Having two labels on the market for so long will only cause confusion. We hope that the Commission will take action as soon as possible, rather than waiting until the last possible minute, so that consumers can feel the benefits sooner rather than later. There is no defence for pushing back the implementation for many products until 2030.
"What’s more, there is no refund model in place for when labels are found to be misleading, and no clear rules for testing energy efficiency. Energy efficiency is of major importance in the fight against climate change, and helps consumers. The rules will need to be improved again if the EU is to deliver on consumer rights and climate protection."
Background and timeline for introduction of new labelling
The simplified energy labelling will be a colour-coded A-G system, instead of the current confusing system (with A+ - A+++ etc.). The regulations are expected to come into force around September 2017. The new labelling system will then be introduced via a series of delegated acts. For items such as white goods and TVs, the labels could be used in shops by early 2020. For heaters and boilers, it could be as late as 2030. For vacuum cleaners and tumble driers, they could be in use in shops in late 2024.