The EU last month brought in new guidelines for energy efficiency labels, launching a much-needed overhaul of the way energy efficiency is measured in consumer appliances. Today we’ll be looking in depth at these changes, and what Kagoo is doing to implement them.
Energy efficiency is the measurement of how much energy an appliance takes to perform its job. The less energy it requires, the more efficient it is. Energy efficiency is important for several reasons:
Saving money: more efficient appliances will lower your electricity bill, potentially saving you a lot in the long-term.
Easing demand: as we saw when Texas froze, sometimes demand can outstrip what the electricity supply can provide. Energy efficient appliances can help ease this burden.
With such hefty benefits, it’s definitely sensible to try and find the most efficient appliances you can. That’s where the EU’s Energy Efficiency labels come into play. First introduced in the
early 90s, these stickers showed a simple scale from A to G - allowing customers to easily see whether the appliance was efficient, or would suck up energy like a thirsty horse. It helped people make more sensible decisions without them having to undertake a lot of research - 79% of consumers considered the labels before making a purchase.
However there was a problem brewing - as time went on technology improved, and appliances became more and more efficient. This meant they easily rose up the scale, and before long almost every appliance rated either A or B. About 10 years ago the EU took notice, and decided to expand the scale, adding A+, A++, A+++ for the increasingly efficient products on the market.
However this wasn’t the perfect solution - the scale was increasingly convoluted for consumers, unsure whether the difference between an A+ and an A++ fridge really meant anything. Moreover 90% of products scored an A+ or better, making it seem like all appliances were equally amazingly efficient. This was understandable, given they were all being judged against criteria set down 20 years ago.
New Energy Labelling Rules
A more drastic change was therefore needed, and so last month the EU unveiled the largest overhaul of the energy efficiency system since it was created. The scale has been stripped back to A-G and entirely rebalanced, taking into account current and future energy efficiency capabilities. This means appliances now look very different on the scale - a washing machine that had a rating of A+ before may be rated a C or even a D. They have also included far more information about every product - how loud it runs, water usage, dimensions and other crucial specs. This allows consumers to make far more enlightened choices, highlighting everything you need to know in order to make a decision.
In order to futureproof the system, the ‘A’ band isn’t being used - this is reserved for a level of energy efficiency not possible with current technology. So a ‘B’ grade denotes the best currently available - the coming years will see appliances energy efficient enough to warrant an ‘A’ grade.
All of this data is being collected in a system called the EPREL - the European Product Database for Energy Labelling. [https://ec.europa.eu/info/energy-climate-change-environment/standards-tools-and-labels/products-labelling-rules-and-requirements/energy-label-and-ecodesign/product-database_en] Individuals will be able to query this database by scanning QR codes attached to any new appliance - this will take them directly to the relevant page for the product, displaying all available data. Since the QR code can be scanned from any phone, these specifications will always be available. Below you can see an example [https://eprel.ec.europa.eu/screen/product/refrigeratingappliances2019/258943] of one of the pages in the EPREL.
At the moment the EU are rolling out this system in stages: the first stage came online last month, and covered:
Other product categories will be activated gradually over the coming months and years - light bulbs & lamps will be the next categories in September 2021.
Kagoo will of course be adopting this new EU standard for Energy Efficiency. However because the changes are so large, moving all of our thousands of products to the new system is a large undertaking. Therefore there will unfortunately be a transitional period where you may see old Energy Efficiency data displayed on our website - we apologize for this, and we will endeavour to make the changeover as painless as possible.
The end result will be far more useful information about how much energy your appliances are using, and more data to help you choose the perfect product!