November 25, 2020
The energy labelling system is changing from March 2021. Whirlpool UK Appliances Limited, parent company to Hotpoint, Indesit, Whirlpool and KitchenAid, is dedicated to supporting retailers through the transition by embracing the new framework and educating consumers on the changes being introduced.
The energy label was originally created to help consumers choose the most energy-efficient appliances, with the aim of ultimately reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Products are given a rating, which sits on a traffic light scale; the higher the rating the more efficient the appliance.
However, as appliances have become more energy-efficient, the existing labelling system has grown more complex to mirror the advances in technology. For example, additional ‘+’ classes were added to describe products that surpass the original A rating. The current scale of energy efficiency is from A+++ to D.
To simplify the labelling system, the current plus classes, (A+++, A++ and A+) will be rescaled with a clearer energy consumption scale from A to G. The new scale will retain the current seven-step colour scale, however this doesn’t mean that today’s most energy-efficient appliances, with a current A+++ rating, will automatically be at the top of the new scale. With the new energy label comes new measurement methods, therefore current appliances will be reclassified. This will encourage the creation of increasingly resource-efficient appliances and challenge all manufacturers to place a focus on energy and water efficiency.
A phased introduction
The new framework is to be introduced from March 2021; however the transition to the new labels will take place in stages. From the second half of 2020, there will be a transition period when appliance manufacturers will need to include both the new label and the old label in the product packaging for any product placed on sale before the deadline of the March 1, 2021.
The first appliances that will bear the new energy labels are dishwashers, washing machines, washer-dryers, refrigerators – including wine storage appliances – and freezers. After March 1, 2021, any new products in the aforementioned appliance categories brought to market will be sold only with the new label.
Other product categories, including ovens, tumble-dryers and specialist cooling appliances, will transition to the new label from 2022, so the older style label will still be displayed on these products until that point.
Be aware of how the energy labels are different
While the new label shares the same seven-step colour scale, it’s important to reiterate that the new method of assessing efficiency means that a one-to-one conversion from the old to the new energy classes is not possible.
In order to drive the market towards increasingly resource-efficient appliances, the revised grading system means current appliances with the very best energy rating may not reach the top of the new scale. As a result, only the very best-performing products will now gain an A rating. Where products have both labels during the transition period, it will be important for manufacturers and retailers to explain these differences.
“At Whirlpool UK, we want to help explain the new regulations so consumers won’t be confused,” explains Andrzej Tuleja, general manager, UK and Ireland, Whirlpool UK Appliances Limited. “When buying a new appliance, consumers may find that due to the revision, many energy-efficient products that were previously at the top of the list will now be placed in lower classes. It is therefore important to make clear that the way in which the energy classification is communicated via the label has been changed, but the efficiency of the product is the same as before. The new label is designed to make room for the continuing innovation in technology by appliance manufacturers, which for many years has continually outpaced the energy label.”
How consumers will benefit
The new energy label will make it simpler for consumers to choose the most energy-efficient appliances by making it easier to compare an appliance’s resource consumption against another. Each new label features a QR code that consumers can scan with their smartphones to get the clearest-ever understanding of a product’s energy and resource performance and its many other benefits.
“For us, the new energy labelling framework means a bold opportunity towards greater sustainability,” adds Tuleja.
Retailer contact details:
Whirlpool UK Appliances Limited
Please contact your account manager for more information.
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