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Retailers seek certainty when implementing new rules for energy labels

23 March 2017
by eub2 -- last modified 23 March 2017

Retailers and wholesalers are pleased with the simplification of energy labelling rules agreed by the European Parliament and the Council, allowing consumers to make better purchasing choices. But they warned that inconsistent or too rigid application of the rules could cause confusion and uncertainty.


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Christian Verschueren, Director-General of EuroCommerce said: "The intention of the new energy labelling rules to make energy labels more understandable for consumers is welcome. It is in everyone's interest that consumers know what they are buying and can compare. It is also wise that the scale is being periodically revised to remain relevant in the light of continuous innovation. However, with a dynamic re-scaling the new rules will introduce uncertainty and potential cost for our sector. For example, if the regulation is enforced in a rigid way and new labels are not available in time to reflect the revised scale it would result in unnecessary burdens or even sanctions for retailers. Another area for improvement is how to show the labels in online sales – currently often resulting in confusion. The rules must be imposed consistently but with some flexibility."

The European Parliament and the Council agreed on Tuesday on a regulation setting a framework for energy efficiency labelling. The current A+++ to G labels for products will be replaced by a new and simpler scale from A to G, by which the new B will be what previously was A+++, leaving room for attaining A with future energy efficiency in new product development.

The new scale will be revised regularly to reflect changes in technology and energy efficiency, and retailers and wholesalers will need to update labels regularly to ensure that they take account of such changes. The new labels will appear on products at the earliest end 2019.

EuroCommerce is the voice for six million retail, wholesale, and other trading companies. Its members include national commerce federations in 31 countries, Europe’s 27 leading retail and wholesale companies, and federations representing specific sectors of commerce.

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