For more than 25 years, electrical appliances have been tested for their energy efficiency. The energy labels with the energy efficiency classes are supposed to help consumers choose appliances. In recent years, however, the labels have become less and less meaningful and the classes more and more confusing because many appliances have become more and more energy efficient. That is why the highest energy efficiency class A, for example, had to be subdivided into A+++, A++, A+ and A.
This is confusing and non-transparent. That is why there will be clearer energy labels and clearer energy efficiency classes from 1 March 2021. The highest class A will no longer be subdivided, i.e. A+++, A++ and A+ will disappear. There will now only be classes A (very efficient), B, C, D, E, F and G (wasteful). At the same time, energy efficiency will be newly measured and evaluated more strictly. That is why there are only a few appliances in the highest energy efficiency class A - it is reserved for future developments. In addition, the criteria are to be regularly adapted to market and technological developments. This means that they can be further tightened.
Appliances rated A+++ by March 2021 can now be classified in class B, C or D, and appliances rated B in class C, D or even lower. They do not consume more electricity than before, but the requirements have increased. The new and stricter classifications are intended to make it easier to compare appliances again. Thanks to the new energy efficiency classes, manufacturers should also be motivated to develop even more economical appliances. The new energy efficiency classes are mandatory for manufacturers, suppliers and dealers.
The changeover will take place gradually in step with the completion of the new EU regulations. The new energy labels will apply to these product groups from March 2021:
The labels for other product groups such as air conditioners, hoovers or dryers will only be introduced with the next EU regulation. This means not before 2023. The conversion of all product groups will probably not be completed until 2030.
The characteristic bars remain. Dark green (A) is still very economical, red (G) wasteful. Let's take a closer look at the label for a refrigerator as an example. The efficiency scale is uniform for all product groups. The refrigerator is classified in class B and is considered economical. The electricity consumption is calculated in kilowatt hours per year. The pictograms provide information about important product features such as the useful capacity of the freezer compartment, the useful capacity of the refrigerator or noise development during operation. At the bottom right is the number of the EU regulation.
The black QR code is conspicuous, but it is only mandatory in the European Union. If you photograph this code with your smartphone and a scanning app, you will be taken directly to the European Commission's EPREL product database with lots of information about the appliance. In Switzerland, energy labels with and without QR code are allowed.
The energy labels now contain additional product information. We have compiled what information you can find there and compare it with other appliances:
Refrigerators and freezers
Wine storage cabinets
TV sets, monitors, etc.