From 1 March, domestic appliances such as fridges, washing machines, dishwashers, etc., will have new labels instead of the current A+, A++ and A+++ energy classes. The new classifications will be on a scale from A to G depending on the energy consumption and efficiency of each product, though the actual energy efficiency of the item itself won’t have changed.
The Spanish Ministry of Ecological Transition & Demographic Challenge says that the new labelling is the result of EU Commission modifications to adapt to and reflect new test methods on the consumption of these appliances. Throughout this year, five categories of electrical products will have new energy labelling in both physical shops and online sales. Most items will bear the new labels from 1 March, while lighting sources will do so from 1 September.
The new labelling will classify products with lowest consumption and highest energy efficiency as Group A while those with highest consumption and lowest energy efficiency will be in Group G. In between there will be five other energy efficiency groups. The new labels will also incorporate a unique QR code so that consumers can access model-specific characteristics and data via their smartphones in a new Europe-wide database called EPREL (European Product Database for Energy Labelling).
The Ministry says that the saturation of A+, A++ and A+++ class products available on the market has been one of the determining factors for the change in the test methodology for measuring the efficiency of electrical products, not least because consumer choice was actually reduced through what ended up as a graduated scale with all the subtlety of a sledgehammer. Instead, the new system will allow the incorporation of new technologies that are now so advanced that they could not adequately be differentiated within the old scale.