Considerations and lessons learnt in the context of energy labelling
Since the completion of the project and the policy development process for a revised EU energy labelling regulation took place in the same period (Mid 2015 – Mid 2016), the consortium would like to emphasise some key findings from genuine application tools in the market for appliances – in particular the smartphone app ecoGator – based on the EU energy labelling framework. These insights gained from this pilot action for enhanced guidance, supporting consumers at the point of sale in identifying the most efficient products, are intended to benefit stakeholders.
Prerequisites for informed purchase decisions regarding household appliances
- Immediately understand whether a product in a shop or online belongs to the most efficient share on the market.
Labels indicate the respective efficiency class, but do not provide contextual information – meaning it is hard to know if a specific energy class or energy efficiency index (EEI) is actually the best available on the market. For example, A+++ ratings are available for some product types whereas others only go up to A+.
- Easily get insight on the expected total costs (purchase price and running costs over lifetime) of a given product.
Since the price at point of sale is only part of the total cost of an appliance – inefficient appliances or large appliances may have very high lifetime running costs, eclipsing the purchase price. With some product lifetimes running up to ten years or more, energy use adds up.
- Understand all of the information provided on a product’s label beyond its energy efficiency class, such as functional parameters like washing performance and the meaning of symbols.
Applications such as ecoGator enable this more comprehensive understanding and are therefore essential to increase consumer awareness and empowerment.