The EU Energy Label: Getting bang for your buck

The EU energy label helps to bring true value to consumers while pushing the boundaries of innovation toward the most energy-efficient solutions. But how can it help consumers get more bang for their buck? 

According to the Special Eurobarometer 492, over 79% respondents said they take the energy label into consideration upon purchasing a new appliance. This makes evident the importance of the label, as it strives to improve energy efficiency for all actors across the board. Introduced in 1994, EU energy labels have helped provide consumers with as much information as possible on the energy consumption of an appliance, prior to purchase. Importantly, the energy label has made transparent the affordances each appliance has to offer when it comes to saving energy and costs, benefitting the consumers' pocket. On the other hand, this transparency and accountability has driven manufacturers towards the development of new technologies and innovations, aimed to provide more energy-efficient solutions. 

The energy label helps to bring true value to consumers. Never before has there been such a choice on the market, from how the product is designed, which brand has manufactured the appliance, how energy efficient the appliance is, and, perhaps most importantly, how much the product costs are weighed up by consumers before deciding which appliance to bring home. All these variables are pivotal for helping consumers choose a product which suits their needs most appropriately based on individual preferences. This reiterates the importance of differentiating between energy-efficient and less energy-efficient products, all toward stimulating a more competitive and environmentally friendly market.

In the midst of the current energy crisis, energy efficiency is the optimum way to uncover savings. The production of increasingly more energy-efficient products will aid our efforts in reducing energy consumption while helping to preserve natural resources.  The European Commission’s proposal to merge different product technologies within the same label brings with it the clear advantage of informing consumers of the best product from a purely energy standpoint. However, the combination of several technologies in the same scale blurs the line between similar products, but with varying energy efficiency and cost-saving potential. This risks pushing consumers toward the cheapest option on the market, as opposed to the most energy-efficient one. The knock-on effect of this on our industry? It’s simple, the market could be hampered by the emergence of a ‘price-war’ between manufacturers, rather than placing emphasis on improving the overall energy efficiency of products, due to the inability to properly distinguish between products.When proposing merging solutions,  legislators should point the industry toward a new solution for effectively differentiating between products, in order to maintain a   healthy and competitive market. At present, visual indications on the label, placed next to the original scale, are being explored as a viable alternative. 

To sum up, product differentiation presents what the home appliance considers to be the optimal means of providing consumers with greater choice, while simultaneously lowering CO2 emissions and incentivising manufacturers to compete on performances rather than lower prices. This must be preserved at all costs.