European Union: New energy labelling rules

New EU energy labelling rules and efficiency requirements will apply to household equipment including refrigerators and freezers, after a committee of experts approved them on March 31, 2009. The new energy labels are based on the existing A to G labelling scheme but new efficiency classes that "go beyond A" will progressively be added. For example, an "A-20%" rating will indicate a product that is 20% more efficient than a current A class model. For refrigerators, current A+ and A++ ratings will be replaced with A-20% and A-40% by January 2011. Efficiency standards for refrigerators and freezers will be tightened up in 3 stages. In July 2010, models with a current efficiency rating of class B and below will be removed from the market. Current class A models will be banned from 2012 and the requirements will be tightened further in 2014. The decisions taken by this committee must be scrutinized by the European Parliament and the Council of Ministers before being formally adopted by the commission. This measures are expected to result in annual electricity savings of 6 TWh by 2020 from refrigerators and freezers.