Energy Efficiency: New Energy Labels for Household Appliances

June 3, 2021
  1. Clearer labels and clearer classes
  2. The new energy efficiency classes are stricter
  3. Switzerland adopts EU regulations
  4. This is what the new energy labels look like
  5. Additional information on the energy label

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.

Clearer labels and clearer classes

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.

The new energy efficiency classes are stricter

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.

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There is no simple conversion from the old to the new classes. That is why it is impossible to compare, for example, refrigerators with an old and a new label just like that.

Energy Efficiency: Man at the Open Refrigerator
With the new energy label you can easily compare and assess the energy efficiency of household appliances

Switzerland adopts EU regulations

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:

  • Refrigerators, freezers and wine storage cabinets
  • Washing machines and tumble dryers
  • Dishwasher
  • TV sets, monitors, etc.
  • Illuminant

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.

This is what the new energy labels look like

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.

Neues Energielabel : Kühlschrank

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.

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Manufacturers, suppliers and retailers have until 31 December 2021, or 31 August 2022 for light bulbs, to replace all old labels with new ones.


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Additional information on the energy label

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

  • Annual energy consumption (kilowatt hours per year)
  • Total capacity of all freezer compartments (litres)
  • Total capacity of all fresh-keeping and refrigerated compartments (litres)
  • Noise generation and noise emission class (A to D)

Wine storage cabinets

  • Annual energy consumption (kilowatt hours per year)
  • Number of storable bottles (standard size)
  • Noise generation and noise emission class (A to D)

Washing machine

  • Energy consumption for 100 wash cycles (kilowatt hours)
  • Filling quantity for the ECO programme (kilograms)
  • Duration of a wash cycle in the ECO programme (hours and minutes)
  • Water consumption per wash cycle (litres)
  • Efficiency class of the spin programme (A to G)
  • Noise level during spinning and noise emission class (A to D)

Tumble dryer

  • Weighted energy consumption per year (kilowatt hours)
  • Maximum capacity when loaded with cotton (kilograms)
  • Appliance type: Gas dryer or electric exhaust air or condensation dryer
  • Only for condensation dryers: Condensation effect, divided into classes from A to G
  • Duration of a standard cotton programme from 60 to 0 percent humidity (hours)
  • Noise level in standard programme for cotton, fully loaded (decibels)


  • Energy consumption for 100 rinsing cycles (kilowatt hours)
  • Possible number of mass covers
  • Water consumption per run in ECO mode (litres)
  • Duration of a run in the ECO programme (hours and minutes)
  • Noise generation and noise emission class (A to D)

TV sets, monitors, etc.

  • Energy consumption when playing standard resolution content per 1000 hours (kilowatt hours)
  • Energy consumption when playing high-resolution content per 1000 hours (kilowatt hours)
  • Screen diagonal and resolution


  • Energy consumption per 1000 hours (kilowatt hours)

Houzy Advice

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You can find examples of the new energy labels on .

Houzy Hint


Be sure to look at the energy efficiency label when you buy a household appliance. Regardless of whether the label is old or new. With an energy-efficient appliance, you use less electricity, protect the environment and save a lot of money on the bottom line.

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