The new UK and EU energy labelling system is now live. The revised classification is rated from A to G, with most of the appliances that were previously rated A+ to A+++ rated between F and C.
The new labels apply from today (March 1) to fridges and freezers, wine coolers, washing machines, washer-dryers and dishwashers.
The change in labels has come about because 90% of fridges and freezers sold are rated A+ or higher and 80% of washing machines already perform to A++ or A+++ standards. The new system gives the bands more room to accommodate more energy-efficient appliances in the future and removes the necessity to keep adding plus symbols to the old A rating.
Labels for appliances to be sold in the UK will also feature the Union Flag at the top. There is also a QR code that links to a database that holds further details about the product.
The Association of Manufacturers of Domestic Appliances (Amdea) believes that this change can help individuals opt for the most efficient product on the market, which will help the UK get closer to its low carbon target.
According to the Appliance Average Consumptions 2020 from the Energy Saving Trust on behalf of Amdea, the most frequently purchased fridge-freezers use 40% less energy than those bought a decade ago, with the majority being rated A+ to A+++.
Amdea says there are 83 million domestic cooling and washing appliances in the UK and, of those, nine million are more than 10 years old and account for 14% of the electricity consumption spent on domestic washing and refrigeration.
Over a third (37%) of buyers, according to Amdea, have the environment as a priority when choosing an appliance. However, price was still the number-one priority with 65% of respondents.
Paul Hide, chief executive of Amdea, said: “Across all price points Amdea members deliver high-performance, low-carbon products. Compared to other home improvement schemes, incentivising the purchase of high-efficiency appliances is simple to deliver and control. It can also help many families to reduce their monthly expenditures as we strive to navigate a post-Covid world, while placing the UK in a pole position on environmental initiatives.”
Analyst GfK has welcomed the new labels and said: “The new scale gives consumers greater impetus to go for the top-rated appliances (perceived difference between a C-rated machine and a B-rated one is much clearer than between A+ and A+++).
“The new label design and how the information is presented substantially increases transparency across all the pertinent data, as well as [providing] instant access to the EU database information.
“This transparency is becoming a make-or-break factor for manufacturers and retailers. Consumers are increasingly focused on brands doing the right thing and being environmentally responsible – and are changing their buying behaviour accordingly.”