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European Parliament and Council agree on home appliance energy scale

A new scale showing the energy efficiency of household appliances is to be introduced to help consumers keep pace with technology, the European Parliament and Council of Ministers have agreed.23 Mar 2017

The scale, which should appear on products by the end of 2019, will give consumers information on which products reduce energy consumption and energy bills and encourage innovation by manufacturers, the Parliament said.

Labels may include a QR code or link that lets consumers access an online database, becoming "a bridge to a digital universe containing all the information impossible to be noted on just paper", rapporteur Dario Tamburrano said.

"The creation of a detailed database and digital tools, like smartphone apps, will enable consumers to make immediate comparisons among the products on the market," he said. 

Information campaigns will be run to explain the new labels to consumers, and any advert or promotional material will have to include the energy efficiency class of a product.

It has been 20 years since the current scale was developed, the Parliament said. The new scale will be refreshed when 30% of products sold in the EU fall into the top class, A, or when 50% are either A or B, it said.

In future reviews of the legislation the Commission will decide whether the buyers of products whose energy and environmental performance does not match the label have access to redress, including compensation, the Parliament said.