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New energy labels for fridges and freezers

TV energy labels scheme rejected by EU

New refrigeration energy labelling scheme

EU energy label (author: European Commission)

Fridges, freezers and fridge freezers are to get new energy efficiency labels – but EU chiefs have voted not to label TVs under the scheme. 

The new label scheme – shown right – will be an extension on the current A to G energy use labelling system. The A to G labelling system was adopted in the 1990s, but many manufacturers are now building appliances with energy efficiency better than the current A classification.

Which? says that the move is bound to lead to confusion.

New labelling categories

Under the current scheme, appliances rated better than A are labelled as A+ or A++. Under the new system, which will be phased in over the next year and will become mandatory in January 2011, those better than A-rated would be classed as A-20% and A-40%, for products using 20% and 40% less power than A-rated products.

The vote concerning fridges, freezers and fridge freezers was won by a margin of four, however the vote was against a similar labelling system for TVs, so a new proposal will be put forward by the end of September 2009.


Following the European Commission’s plenary vote on EU Energy Labels, Ashleye Gunn, policy manager at Which?, said: ‘The introduction of a new energy efficiency label unnecessarily complicates a system that the vast majority of people understand and have happily used for years. What makes it worse is that only the labels on fridges will change, which will just confuse people further.

‘Without a clear and simple rating system consumers won’t know what to buy and there will be little incentive for industry to improve the efficiency of appliances.’

Other large domestic appliances subject to future voting

Future votes will decide whether new labelling schemes will be adopted by other large domestic appliances. Further information about the new energy labelling scheme proposals can be found in our energy labelling scheme news story.

Research done last year found that 97 per cent of Europeans understand the current system.

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