European Union Re-scales Energy Label

In July, the European Commission approved a measure to revise the European appliance energy efficiency label back to the A-G scale, removing the +’s that confused consumers.

In 2010, the European Commission redesigned the European Energy Label. Among the changes, the EC shifted the product rating scale from A – G to A+++ – D. Very quickly, this meant that almost all products on the European market were in an A through A+++ category.

Soon after the new label launched, CLASP and our partners analyzed consumer comprehension of the label. While consumers appreciated certain aspects of the label – it was visually easy to read, etc – an average of 30% of those interviewed disliked the new rating scale and energy classes. Ultimately, “A+++” rating as the top efficiency class was less motivating to consumers than the “A” rating. This revealing analysis helped shift momentum toward rescaling label.

As a global best practice organization, CLASP facilitated a collaborative roundtable of members of industry, several EU member states, and consumer and environmental NGOs to determine the best way to rescale the label, while maintaining consumer trust and decreasing consumer confusion.

Following several years of CLASP and our partner’s analysis and research, and aligned with CLASP recommendations, the revised label will:

  • Rescale the A+++ classes with the original A to G scale and set protocol to maintain this scale as the market evolves,
  • Create an EU-wide product registry database for labelled products, and
  • Protect the integrity of labeled products through improved market surveillance programs.

CLASP is also working very closely with our European non-profit partners to test DigiLabel, a digitized European energy label, and PocketWatt, a mobile phone app, and with the EC to develop a corresponding product registry database. Together, these tools will help capture more CO₂ savings by enhancing transparency to consumers and improving national market enforcement activities.


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