EU plans sweeping changes to eco labelling

7613454_sEUROPE: Euro MPs are proposing to sweep away the proliferating pluses in today’s top class (A+, A++, A+++) energy efficiency labels with a clearer A to G scale.

Industry, Research and Energy Committee MEPs have amended a draft EU regulation proposing that “rescaled labels for existing product groups” be introduced within five years of its entry into force, so as “to ensure a homogenous A-G scale”.

They propose that any future rescale should aim for a validity period of at least 10 years and should be enacted when either 25% of products fall into class A or when 50% of products fall into classes A+B.

Reactions from the European Heating Industry (EHI) and EPEE, representing the heating, cooling and refrigeration industry, have been mixed. While accepting that the report marks improvements to the initial proposal, the two bodies, in a joint statement, say it misses its target on important elements.

In particular, on rescaling, EPEE and the EHI point out that the proposal does not allow for the necessary differentiation that would help consumers make the most informed decisions when choosing energy efficient products.

“For technologically highly mature products,” the say, “an empty top class would not be filled in the long term, consequently misleading consumers and discouraging needed investment in truly efficient technologies.”

EPEE and EHI has also welcomed MEPs’ intention to improve market surveillance for energy labelling and Ecodesign. “This is something the industry has consistently identified as particularly weak,” they say.

However, there were concerns over a proposed web-based product database, which EPEE and the EHI say would add a costly layer of complexity without providing any clear added value in identifying non-compliant companies.

“In particular, requiring manufacturers to upload technical documentation and test reports to a central database is of great concern, because it does not ensure these data against security breaches,” they say.

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