Malta: Simpler EU energy labels for lighting products applicable from 1 September

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To help EU consumers cut their energy bills and carbon footprint, a brand new version of the widely-recognised EU energy label for light bulbs and other lighting products will be applicable in all shops and online retail outlets from Wednesday, 1 September 2021. The move follows the considerable improvement in energy efficiency in this sector in recent years, which has meant that more and more “light sources” (such as light bulbs and LED modules) have achieved label ratings of A+ or A++ according to the current scale. The most important change is the return to a simpler A-G scale.

EU Energy Commissoner Kadri Simson said: “Our lamps and other lighting products have become so much more efficient in the recent years that more than half of LEDs are now in the A++ class. Updating the labels will make it easier for consumers to see what are the ‘best in class’ products, which in turn will help them to save energy and money on their bills. Using more energy efficient lighting will continue to reduce the EU greenhouse gas emissions and contribute to becoming climate-neutral by 2050.”

The new scale is stricter and designed so that very few products are initially able to achieve the “A” and “B” ratings, leaving space for more efficient products to gradually enter the market. The most energy efficient products currently on the market will typically now be labelled as “C” or “D”. A number of new elements will be included on the labels, including a QR code that links to an EU-wide database, where consumers can find more details about the product.

In order to allow for the sale of existing stock, the rules provide for an 18-month period where the products bearing the old label can continue to be sold on the market in physical retail outlets. For online sales, however, the old labels displayed online will have to be replaced by the new ones within 14 working days.

Today’s measures follow a rescaling of the energy labels on 1 March 2021 for 4 other product categories – fridges and freezers, dishwashers, washing machines, and televisions (and other external monitors). Building on EU ecodesign rules, the European Commission is also working on updating the labelling for products including tumble dryers, local space heaters, air conditioners, cooking appliances, ventilation units, professional refrigeration cabinets, space and water heaters, and solid fuel boilers, and considering the introduction of new energy labels for solar panels.