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Energy label is simplified, saving businesses billions

The European Parliament this week agreed to revert back to its original A to G format on energy labels, thereby removing the confusing plusses (for example, A+++).

The rescaling of the old label will apply to a total of 15 product groups, including professional, commercial and domestic appliances. Product testing will also become more representative of “real life” conditions.

According to the European Commission, a combination of effective product design and labelling will lead to an energy saving of about 165 Mtoe (million tonnes of oil equivalent) by 2020, roughly equivalent to the annual primary energy consumption of Italy. This translates into €55 billion (£48.3 billion) in extra revenue for European businesses.

However, a common deadline to introduce the new label is yet to be agreed and full implementation to the whole European market could take eight years or more. It isn’t yet clear what will happen to energy labelling when the UK leaves the EU, but the scheme is often used as an example of “crazy Brussels bureaucracy”.

Policymakers are also discussing adding new labels to product groups such as commercial refrigeration (like vending machines and beverage coolers), as well as taps and windows. A label for computers is also being considered.