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How to read the energy label on your appliances

Latest News 03 Mar 2023

Soaring energy prices have reached record levels in 2022, affecting all Europeans and focusing minds on the importance of efficiency. Since being introduced in 1994, the energy label has revolutionised the way we measure energy efficiency. It is estimated that 8 out of 10 consumers in Europe are familiar with the energy label and use it when purchasing home appliances. This has led to a decrease in both energy consumption and energy costs due to the increased availability of energy-saving products. 

To help EU consumers cut their energy bills and make room for further innovation, in 2021 the EU launched a new energy label for the first round of applications. The new rules brought back the A to G scale. A being the most efficient and G being the least efficient. Despite the change of scale, however, the energy consumption of products remains the same. An A+++ washing machine that is now in C class will remain as efficient even if the figures on the label may not be exactly the same due to a change in the calculation method that occurred simultaneously as the rescaling. 

New to the label is the QR-code, now available on the upper-right-hand side. By scanning the code, consumers will be pointed to the European Product Registry for Energy Labels (EPREL), an EU-wide database gathering all relevant information on the product. This ranges from the model details to dimensions, depending on the appliance. All products on the EU market have to be registered and information made available on EPREL. 

The QR code presents a clear and concise digital rating system where consumers can easily compare the energy efficiency of different products and make an informed decision, all from the comfort of their smartphone. It really is as simple as that.

The energy consumption of the product (in kWh) per cycle, per 100 cycles or per annum is also referenced on the label, depending on the appliance type. This will allow you to establish a more accurate cost-of-use estimate. The lower the kWh, the less energy the product will use and the more money you will save on your energy bills (only the energy consumed per annum was measured by the previous labelling system).

Other measurements include noise emissions, water usage, energy consumption in eco-mode, maximum load capacity, duration of programme and volumes among others and depending on the appliance. 

Overall, energy labels help you choose better, compare better, have more efficient appliances and kill your bill.

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