Energy_Label We are pleased that the EU parliament has rejected the confusing new energy rating system that was proposed for TVs. The commission had proposed to introduce efficiency classes going beyond the current most efficient "A" rating for TVs and fridges. For example, "A-20%", which would mean a product that is 20% more efficient than an A-rated product. However, the new system will still go ahead for fridges and freezers. This is rather confusing for consumers!

You can see from my previous post ‘We’ve got the policies, now let’s see some action’ (30 January 2009) that we were worried that changing the rating system would confuse people. Our research showed that consumers prefer the existing system that rates the efficiency of products from A – G, and the vast majority thought the new system would be too confusing.

MEPs rightly opposed this new system because it wouldn’t be clear whether ‘A’ was in fact the most efficient product. We support keeping the simple A-G system, but it needs to be dynamic to ensure there is continued improvement in energy efficiency standards of products. The standards needed to achieve an A-rated product need to be regularly reviewed and updated to ensure ‘A’ really is the most efficient.

As we haven’t yet had a review of the standards needed to achieve an A-rating, we now also have A++ rated products – so not very straightforward! The EU is now planning to revise the energy labelling framework, so hopefully all the inconsistencies will be ironed out and we can have a simple, user-friendly system that ensures consumers know which products are the most efficient. We need to ensure this is supported by minimum energy efficiency standards for products too, which result in continuous improvement of performance.