Get ready for new energy labels for household appliances

Appliance shopping

Have a look around your home and you’re likely to find the familiar energy label on many household appliances. From washing machines to televisions, these labels have been helping consumers in Scotland to choose energy-efficient products for more than 25 years.

The labelling system has made an important contribution to achieving energy and climate targets and has also encouraged the research and development of even more efficient products. However, the demand for reduced energy consumption continues to increase – rendering the current range of ‘A+++’ to ‘G’ ineffective.

Why the change?

An increasing number of products are rated in the top classes – that’s why the plus signs after the ‘A’ ratings have become more common. As our preference for greener technology increases, a revised rating system is necessary.

In addition, stricter energy efficiency requirements have been introduced to reflect the changing view of society and to help contribute to mitigating the climate crisis. This will encourage manufacturers to innovate and also make sure there’s room for future improvements.

So, an appliance previously rated A+++, for example, may well be rated a ‘C’ or even a ‘D’ in the revised scale. It’s important to be aware that these appliances aren’t less efficient than before – but it does mean that other, more energy efficient products are available -or are expected to be in the future.

What other changes can you expect to see?

Aside from a re-scaled rating of A-G, the new labels have other improvements that will help you make better decisions when buying products:

  • A QR code which you can scan via a smartphone to access useful information about the product.
  • More prominent information on energy consumption
  • New details specific to each product type will be added, and more clearly displayed. For example, washing machine energy labels will feature details of the most economical load weights and noise emission levels.

Which products are affected?

From Monday 1 March 2021, the following appliances will begin to feature the new label:

  • Televisions and electronic displays
  • Household refrigerators and freezers
  • Wine storage refrigerators
  • Washing machines and washer dryers
  • Light sources
  • Dishwashers

They’ll not all appear straight away – manufacturers have a few weeks to ensure all the changes are made – but expect to see them soon.  

For other products such as vacuum cleaners, water heaters and tumble dryers, a wee wait is expected. The new labels will be introduced as soon as new or revised UK regulations come into force; currently expected to be in 2022.

Our colleagues at Energy Saving Trust have put some handy resources together to explain the changes in more detail for both consumers and professionals.

Take a look at the new Energy Label website

We’re always over the moon to hear about developments which take us that little bit closer to an even greener Scotland. In today’s energy-conscious society, this is an excellent opportunity to progress even further. The potential of the new energy labels to make decisions easier when buying greener products.

Keep your eyes peeled this March as the label will be rolled out online and on the high street.

To find out more, visit the new energy label website.