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Technology energy labelling system proposed

New system to accommodate more efficient goods

Proposed new energy label for TVs

EU energy label (author: European Commission)

A new energy labelling system has been proposed by a European Committee, which, if approved, will mean that TVs will have to be sold with energy consumption labels in a similar scheme that already applies to large domestic white goods.

The current system is a colour-coded A to G labelling scheme, with A category products being the most energy efficient, and G rated products being the least energy efficient.

The current system was introduced in the 1990s and since then manufacturers have made products that are more efficient than the A rated appliance stipulations. As a result, labels on some goods have begun to show A+ and A++ ratings.

Clearer labelling for newer, more efficient devices

The new system proposes a new pre-defined classification for such products, and the committee has suggested that A-20% and A-40% labels should be used to show consumers how much more efficient the product is than an A rated model.

This new system has been designed to mean that the labelling of all products since the 1990s is still accurate, and not likely to cause any confusion when the new system is introduced.

, freezers, washing machines, dishwashers, , and ovens must all currently be sold with the existing energy labelling scheme. If the new proposal is accepted, then TVs will also be required to be appropriately labelled.

Phasing out of inefficient models

The proposal also suggests that a timeline for the phasing out the less energy efficient appliances should be introduced. For refrigeration products the committee feels that products that would today be B rated or below should not be available for purchase after July 2010, and that only products that would currently be classified as A+ should be available for sale after July 2014.

A similar suggestion has been proposed in the household washing machine market, with a suggested phasing out of products that would currently be rated a B or below being phased out by July 2010, and allowing only current A+ standard models to be sold after July 2013.

Energy inefficient TVs have also been treated to similar phasing out proposals. The committee feels that only TVs with a better than current average energy usage should be available for sale from July 2010 onwards, and that after July 2012, only TVs with an energy consumption that is 20% lower than the current average should be placed on the market.

Energy and money saving advice

Testing the energy efficiency of electrical appliances is a major aspect of our testing procedures here at Which? and the results of these tests can be found on our detailed product reviews. We also calculate the average annual running costs of many of the products we test, so a clear indication of how much money can be saved by using a more energy efficient model instead of a power hungry device can be seen.

We also have a wealth of energy saving reports, including energy-saving light bulb reviews, and energy saving advice.

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