The novelties in energy labelling and ecodesign – questions and answers before their adoption later this year

After years of working on the 2019 Ecodesign and Energy Labelling package, the European Commission is nearly at the final stage of wrapping up 11 ecodesign measures and 6 energy labels. 

While reaching adoption on this package was at times challenging in terms of timing and resources, it was welcomed by the home appliance and lighting industry, national authorities and NGOs as it would continue fostering products innovation and add more benefit to consumers. More concretely, the measures will ensure that Europeans can benefit from energy savings and even more repairable products as the new legislation will set minimum requirements for the provision of spare parts and repair information.

“We should take the opportunity to come up with a sound legislation that is based on repeatable and reproducible testing methodologies”, commented the Director General of APPLiA on the need to improve the energy label for vacuum cleaners at an event organised by Michèle Rivasi MEP (Greens) in collaboration with the European Environmental Bureau (EEB). The new Energy Labelling legislative framework will help facilitate this and the first delegated acts under that measure will demonstrate the progress that has been made in this respect.  The importance of the balance between the political and the technical aspects and proper market enforcement were also raised.

The European Commission emphasised the challenge of communication to citizens on buying energy efficient appliances and the changes in the energy label that will come in 2021 when products that were previously on the top of the scale will be in lower classes.  “On the new energy label, what consumers need to understand is that B is the old A+++, concluded the head of the Commission’s Energy Efficiency unit, Paul Hodson.

The Director General of the consumer organisation in Europe, Monique Goyens also confirmed that ecodesign helps for the well-being of consumers and highlighted that its benefits should be promoted in the context of the European elections this May. “Rules are result of many exchanges to balance political and technical with aim to make clear enforceable rules”, said in the same spirit of LightingEurope’s Secretary General, Ourania Georgoutsakou.

Speaking about repair, Paolo Falcioni noted that fixing products could become even a more successful story if 2/3 of the electronic waste was not remaining undocumented. Today, materials from the 1/3 of the officially collected appliances are recovered to up to 90% and enter again into the manufacturing circles. Tracking all waste, however, will bring even more value to the environment, to the industry and to the society at large.

He further added that already today 81 out of 100 requests for repair have resulted in actually repaired products and that the greatest advantage of the new rules is that it creates an equal starting point for all players on the market.