So What's New?
Choosing a new appliance is an important decision for any consumer to make. Factors such as the brand, colour, size and efficiency will affect this choice and when standards increase across the industry, they must be communicated clearly. To help consumers decide what is best for them, a major update to the energy labelling system has been brought in and implemented on most appliance types as of 1st March 2021.
Why the change?
The old system ranges from A+++ to D with most of the products on the market today placed in the upper brackets (A+ to A+++). This makes it more difficult for consumers to understand just how efficient appliances are in relation to one another when so many are clustered at the top of the scale. Furthermore, mixing multiple instances of symbols such as “+” with the letter scale in and of itself can lead to confusion. The new system will also encourage innovation and the development of even more efficient products, leading to a greener and less costly future.
The New Scale
The scale has been adjusted to make it more simplified. The new energy labels will instead range from A to G and higher standards applied to reach the highest ratings. This in effect will spread out appliances across the scale to more easily distinguish relative efficiency. Note that products which will end up towards the bottom end will still be classed as energy efficient.
Valid Until February 28, 2021 Valid From March 1, 2021
The Main Parts of the New Label
The old scaling system which included labels such as A+, A++ and A+++ has been replaced with a more straight forward one ranging from A to G. The colour scale itself will not be altered as it is easily recognised and understood.
Qr-codes will be used to allow consumers to find out more about a product online by scanning with a handheld device such as a smartphone or tablet.
New icons will be added to the labels depending on the appliance type (e.g. energy efficiency in HDR mode for TVs and spinning efficiency for washing machines). Some icons will be also updated but most of them will remain the same, as was used in the old system of labelling. All new labels will include a noise rating class ranging A-D.
The energy consumption of products will be shown in the middle section of the label. Depending on the type of product the consumption will be shown as kWh per year, kWh per 1000 hours or kWh per 100 cycles.
Which appliances are affected?
The new energy label will be introduced gradually across a range of products. From 1 March 2021, new labels will appear in stores and online shops for the following appliances:
- Household refrigerators and freezers
- Wine storage refrigerators
- Washing machines
- Televisions and electronic displays
For other products such as air conditioners, tumble dryers, vacuum cleaners and water heaters, the new labels will be introduced as soon as new or revised UK regulations come into force, which is currently expected to be in 2022.
What do the new labels look like?
Here are examples of the product groups that show the new information specific to each type:
- Energy consumption listed per 100 washes
- Extra info on capacity and duration of “Eco 40-60” programmes
- Water consumption per litre
- Noise emission class
- Spin dry efficiency class
Fridges, Freezers and Wine Coolers
- New measurements for energy consumption and net volume
- Model type (fridge, freezer, fridge freezer)
- Volume of individual compartments inside the appliance
- Wine bottle pictogram on all wine cooler energy labels
- Energy consumption is based on Eco mode per 100 cycles instead of per annum
- Water consumption is measured per cycle
- Eco cycle duration