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EU Updates Appliance Energy Labeling System
Apr 8, 2009
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The European Union adopted an upgraded energy efficiency labeling system for household refrigerators, freezers, and washing machines. The move was welcomed by CECED, the European household appliance manufacturers’ association. CECED called it an environmentally sound and sustainable Energy Label layout with ambitious Ecodesign targets for the included appliances.

At the March 30-31 meeting, the Committee on Ecodesign and Energy Labeling of Energy using Products (EuP) approved a label solution that allows manufacturers to identify the most energy-efficient technology without any disruption on the market or confusion for consumers. Appliances surpassing Europe's current Class A criteria will be classified by the additional savings they provide when compared to Class A, such as A-20%, A-40%, etc. These new classes will be used in addition to the existing A-to-G energy efficiency scale.

The Committee also agreed that Class A refrigerators and freezers will be phased out of the market by 2012 and Class A washing machines will be phased out by 2013.

“The fact that the Committee has already identified dates when Class A appliances will be taken out of the market indicates how urgently we needed a new energy label layout,” said Luigi Meli, CECED Director General. “We are pleased to now have a tool that will support our efforts to continue improving the energy efficiency of our products well beyond Class A.”

According to EU Energy Commissioner Andris Piebalgs, the new system is "very clear for consumers, accelerates the race for top efficient products, and boosts market transformation and energy savings."

European household appliance manufacturers have dramatically increased the energy efficiency of their products in the last 15 years, at a rate of about 20% every 4 years, without significantly increasing consumer prices. Most refrigerators now sold in the EU today consume up to 70% less energy than what they did a decade ago.

"The new label layout is a winning solution for all parties,” Mr. Meli said. “It offers the consumer transparency on the energy efficiency levels that can be gained when comparing appliances, and it offers industry an opportunity to continue to work toward even greater energy savings and innovation. Technological competition between industry players will further boost progress on energy efficiency and CO2 emissions.”

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