The Energy Labelling Directive (Directive 2010/30) and various product specific EU Regulations control labelling requirements for energy-related products. These measures set out what is required of manufacturers, impose obligations on importers of non-EU products into the EU, and also affect retailers who sell, hire or offer products to end-users. For this purpose an “energy related product” is a product which has a significant direct or indirect impact on the consumption of energy or other essential resources.

Energy related products, including the items listed below, are now subject to specific energy labelling regulations:

  • Household washing machines and tumble driers;
  • Electrical lamps and luminaires (applies from 1 September 2013);
  • Televisions;
  • Air conditioners;
  • Household dishwashers;
  • Refrigerators, freezers and combination products.

In a move which follows years of discussions between technical experts, industry representatives and NGOs, the European Commission has adopted EU-wide rules on energy labelling for boilers, heat pumps and water heaters. The rules, which were approved on 18 February, will apply from 2015 or two years following their entry into force later this year.

The European Commission also published proposals on eco-design requirements for boilers, heat pumps and water heaters which will be subject to a vote on 13 March 2013. The new energy labelling scheme and the draft eco-design requirements are expected to deliver annual energy savings of 1,900 petajoules – approximately 110 million tonnes of CO2 emissions by 2020.

EHPA, the European trade association for the heat pump sector, and EPEE, the refrigerant, air-conditioning and heat pump industry association, welcomed the decision to introduce a single energy label for different types of boilers. Both believe this will boost sales of the most efficient heaters.

In addition to mandatory energy labelling and the voluntary European Eco-label, France is also rolling out environmental labelling across a range of consumer products following a trial which showed positive results. One of the findings of the trial was high interest among retailers for environmental labelling.

Legislative proposals are expected in the Autumn with requirements being voluntary at first, becoming mandatory in the future. Delphine Batho, the French environment minister, explained that French action is in anticipation of future European requirements; France aims to lead legislation in this area.