Clearer #energy labelling: Improved energy efficiency

On 26 June, the Council adopted without debate a regulation setting a framework for energy efficiency labelling which replaces the current legislation (Directive 2010/30/EU) retaining its main principles but further clarifying, strengthening and extending its scope.

The energy labelling framework allows customers to be more aware of the energy efficiency and energy consumption of household appliances (such as dishwashers, televisions, fridges, etc.), which will help them to reduce their energy costs. This will also contribute to the moderation of energy demand and the achievement of the Union’s 2020 and 2030 energy efficiency targets.

The regulation establishes deadlines to replace the current A+, A++, A+++ classes with an A to G scale. It also sets out a procedure for rescaling the labels based on technological development. Thus, the excessive use of higher efficiency classes is avoided in the long term, providing also incentives for innovation and pushing less efficient products out of the market.

The proposal also contains clearer rules on promotional campaigns, national incentives to promote higher classes of efficiency and aims to improve enforcement mechanisms and transparency towards customers by creating a database of products covered by energy labelling requirements.

Main new elements of the regulation

  • Rescaling: fixed deadlines are established for the first rescaling of all labelled products, according to three product categories:

    – Six years as general deadline, combined with 18 additional months aiming for the appearance of the label in shops;- 15 months for the “white” products (dishwashers, fridges, washing machines), combined with 12 additional months aiming for the appearance of the label in shops and nine years for heaters and boilers with a sunset clause of 13 years.

    Once all A+ labels have disappeared from the market, further rescaling will be triggered by a surplus in the top classes, namely 30 % in class A or 50% in class A+B. At the time of rescaling the top two classes are to be left empty, aiming for a ten-year validity period of the label.

  • Product database: it will operate from January 2019 and it will enable market surveillance authorities of member states to enforce labelling requirements, and make sure that efficiency calculations behind the label correspond to those declared by manufacturers. The public database will focus on user friendliness and practical purposes. The compliance part of the database is delineated in order to safeguard the confidentiality and security of sensitive commercial data of manufacturers.
  • Delegated acts will be the main instrument for the rescaling procedure but implementing acts have been decided for the database and the safeguard procedure. Joe Mizzi, Maltese minister for Energy and Water Management said: “We very much welcome this agreement. These new rules on energy labelling will help consumers to make energy savings more easily when they buy electric household appliances. This will contribute to reduced energy demand, one of the goals of the Energy Union strategy.”
Greens energy spokesperson Claude Turmes MEP and shadow rapporteur said: “The Council has agreed on the bare minimum for energy efficiency efforts to 2030. The 30% target is the lowest acceptable objective if the EU wants to remain credible in the implementation of the Paris Agreement. The loopholes and double counting in the energy savings obligations will seriously undermine that ambition and weaken the Energy Efficiency First principle.”
While Benedek Jávor MEP said: “There is an engaged energy efficiency community that stands ready to raise ambition levels and invest massively in the energy transition. They just need the right signals from policymakers. To fully unlock this potential, all Member States need to give their support. Where some countries lag behind, there is a real risk of higher energy costs and serious competition gaps.  “Alongside climate proofing the EU budget to make sure public investments are rightly channelled and do not support any fossil fuel based solutions, we need to see greater inclusiveness to make sure vulnerable and marginalized groups benefit from increased energy savings.”
Background

The proposal on energy efficiency labelling is part of the Commission’s wider Energy Union Strategy.

The conclusions of the European Council of October 2014 set an indicative target of at least 27% increase in energy efficiency at Union level in 2030. This target will be reviewed by 2020 with a view to reaching an Union level of 30%.

The Commission presented its proposal on 15 July 2015. The TTE (Energy) Council adopted a general approach on the proposal on 26 November 2015.

The European Parliament voted its negotiating mandate on 6 July 2016. Following four trilogues, the Council and the European Parliament reached a provisional agreement on the regulation on 22 March 2017.

The European Parliament adopted its position at first reading on the Commission proposal on 13 June 2017.

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Category: A Frontpage, Energy, Energy market, EU, European Energy Security Strategy, Renewable energy

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