New Energy Labels
The EU introduced energy label ratings in 1995, driving competition and innovation, perhaps saving everyone £100s per year compared with 25 years ago. But now it’s getting a makeover in the UK.
In March 2021 a new energy label was launched , which scraps the A+, A++ and A+++ ratings and resets the scale back to A to G. This is designed to reinvigorate the sustainability race for manufacturers by completely emptying the top A-rating to leave room for improvement. At first it will only affect washing machines, washer-dryers, dishwashers, refrigerators, lighting and TVs, with tumble-dryers, ovens and other appliances remaining the same for now.
Key Features of the New energy label
New A to G ratings - a clear reflection of how efficient your appliance is by modern standards. Washer-dryers now get two ratings, one for washing and another for drying.
QR-code for more product information
Most smartphones can scan QR codes and this link will take you direct to the manufacturers page for a specific item. Hover the camera on a smartphone over it to open the webpage. It’s is also handy if you need help with your appliance. (remember Pearsons are here to help when you need us – just ask)
Energy consumption is presented either as kWh per year, kWh per 1,000 hours or kWh per 100 cycles, depending on the product group.
This is a change from the old system which was often based on an estimated usage over a year. Washing machines’ energy consumption, for example, was based on 260 cycles (five washes per week for a whole year).
Extra Information Box
This will differ depending on the appliance you’re buying.
A dishwasher would show the number of place settings, water use per wash, duration of a wash, and how much noise it makes (This information is normally in decibels (dB) and a new A to D rating scale).
On refrigerated units you will find the capacity of chilled and/or frozen compartments in litres and the noise level, whilst for TVs energy rating and consumption, screen size and height and width in pixels.
A washing machines label will show capacity, duration and water consumption of the eco 40-60°C program, as well as an A-G rating of the spin dry and noise rating of how loud the final spin is.
Any system has good and bad features. The new one has been designed to help you pick between products in an easier way. If there are two devices you like and one has an energy rate of G and the other a B, then buying the B will save you money and be better for the environment.
In the long term the maker of the G rated unit will be forced to improve. A win for everyone.
Don’t pin everything on the stats on the label !
One of the problems with any system is “design to pass a test.” The energy score could be based on a wash you never use! So looking at your smart meter at home to compare real energy use may show a discrepancy. However, comparing like for like functions is a good clue without us all having to dig through a massive technical document.