TV energy labels get mixed reception

07 May 2009

The new energy efficiency classes for household goods proposed by the European Commission could mislead consumers buying a new TV, said the European Parliament when it blocked the Commission's proposal to sub-divide the highest energy class A
The new energy efficiency classes for household goods proposed by the European Commission could mislead consumers buying a new TV, said the European Parliament when it blocked the Commission's proposal to sub-divide the highest energy class A

The new energy efficiency classes for household goods proposed by the European Commission could mislead consumers buying a new TV, said the European Parliament when it blocked the Commission's proposal to sub-divide the highest energy class A.

However, MEPs did approve the new label for household fridges and freezers. By 399 votes in favour, with 260 against and 12 abstentions, parliament blocked the Commission's plan to change the format for the energy labelling of TV sets.

The Commission proposed an implementing measure which would have sub-divided the highest energy class 'A' by adding new classes; such as 'A-20%', 'A-40%', 'A-60%'. MEPs oppose this new format since it could "add to confusion about whether class 'A' represents an efficient or an inefficient product". Instead, the Commission should reserve A-label status for the top 10-20 % best performing equipment, say MEPs.

Indeed, MEPs recognise that ‘televisions are high-energy consuming appliances and consequently there is considerable potential for saving energy by adding this category to the energy labelling scheme.’ Parliament, therefore, calls on the Commission to submit new draft measures based on a closed 'A-G' scale by the end of September 2009.

The necessary majority of MEPs did not back a similar resolution opposing the Commission’s plans of introducing the new format for household refrigerating appliances. In future, a new fridge labelled ‘A-20%’ will mean that this product consumes 20% less energy than an ‘A’ model product.

Under the current energy labelling directive, adopted by Parliament and Council in 1992, the Commission may set technical requirements, such as the energy classes for household appliances such as freezers, washing machines, dishwashers, or air-conditioners. Parliament and Council may block such implementing measures under a ‘regulatory procedure with scrutiny.’ Parliament can do so by an absolute majority of its members (at least 393 MEPs).


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