The labeling of larger household appliances will change from next Monday, March 1 with the entry into force of a new European regulation. The new system incorporates a new scale that fixes which appliances such as dishwashers, washing machines or refrigerators are within a class ladder that goes from A to G. The main changes lie in the disappearance of the A +, A ++ and A +++ categories and in that the new measuring stick is based on environmental and technological parameters that are more demanding than the previous ones, with which some electrical appliances considered until now as very efficient will become class B or even lower. The new regulations also it will oblige manufacturers to show through pictograms the consumption of electricity, water and time requirements of the functions, as well as a QR Code that will allow consumers to obtain digital sheets of additional information (freezing power, noise levels, washing functions, etc.) and access to a European database in which to compare products and models.
From next Monday, the sales establishments will have with 14 business days as a deadline to replace current labels with new ones, both in the electrical appliances displayed in physical stores and in those offered on the internet or for sale at a distance. Thus, after the disappearance of classes A +, A ++ and A +++, the devices now considered highly efficient will fall into categories B or even C, D or lower. In addition, labels of the current A +, A ++ and A +++ classes can still be found in stores for other types of products such as dryers, ovens and hoods, whose manufacturers are not yet required to initiate this transition.
With the aim that the labeling remains stable for at least the next 10 years, classes from A to G have been defined with much more rigorous requirements and it is not expected that at the beginning of their entry into operation there will be devices included in energy category A. All large appliances will be classified in the remaining classes that include the letters from B to G. «The household appliance does not change, but both the way of measuring consumption and energy efficiency as well as the scale of the energy certificate are modified. But, the consumer must not forget that his efficient product remains the same and it is not that it has disappeared, but that it is now measured with other regulations that have more demanding parameters “, explains Alberto Zapatero, general director of the National Association of Manufacturers and Importers of Home Appliances (Anfel).
“The new labeling exposes new performance elements, stricter eco-design requirements and a new test method,” says André Monteiro, director of the Electrolux Group laundry category. «The changes that this new label incorporates reflect a more real and day-to-day consumption of the user. Consumers use short programs, not long ones, although they are more efficient; We do not always fill the entire washing machine to the maximum and wash by filling half the drum or a quarter of it. And all these types of variables detected to consumers are now used to measure, test and classify the machine, he adds.
A saturated market
The reasons for the change lie in the fact that the previous labeling had become obsolete and no longer fulfilled the function of providing accurate information to the customer since the top categories of the table were saturated with products. During the 20 years of operation of the system still in force, manufacturers have invested in innovation and an overwhelming majority of devices are already in class A. This situation has caused that eThe consumer cannot differentiate in detail because he only has three classes in practice And at the same time, manufacturers have no way of recording their investment in new technology and sustainability. «In 2006 two thirds of the refrigerators and washing machines sold were labeled as class A. However, in 2017, more than 90% of the products sold on the European market were higher than class A, that is, A +, A + + or A +++ ”, Apostille Monteiro, from Electrolux.
With the new standard, the EC seeks to encourage the development of new technologies by manufacturers, who until now have used labeling as a differentiation tool to better position their devices and attract buyers. “The current situation has resulted in the two most energy efficient classes being overcrowded and almost all products are A ++ and A +++. The European Commission realized this and decided to modify the test standard so that energy consumption is better adapted to the consumer’s use at home and at the same time the scaling was changed ”, remarks Zapatero.
From Anfel they also underline that the European Union has decided that the information sheets can only be delivered in print in case of a specific request by the seller. Thus, and for environmental reasons, the technical reports must be downloaded once the database is accessed through the supplied QR code. For its part, the Ministry of Ecological Transition recalls that white range appliances are not the only ones that will undergo changes since lighting sources will adopt the new system on September 1 and other devices such as boilers, ovens or air conditioners will leave the regulatory adaptation for later.