As a pioneer of green business and products, Whirlpool UK Appliances Limited, parent company to Hotpoint, Indesit, Whirlpool and KitchenAid, is dedicated to supporting retailers through the changes in the energy labelling system by embracing the new framework and educating consumers on the changes that are to be introduced from March 2021.
The new energy label will make it simpler for consumers to choose the most energy efficient appliances and Whirlpool UK is pleased to welcome a new system that will encourage the creation of increasingly resource efficient appliances.
Now a familiar sight in shops and showrooms, the brightly-coloured product energy labels were originally created to help consumers choose the most energy-efficient appliances – and ultimately help to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. This process has proved successful and manufacturers like Whirlpool have created even more efficient products as awareness and demand for environmentally conscious choices have increased.
As products have grown more efficient, the existing labelling system has grown more complex to mirror these advances in technology. For example, additional ‘+’ classes were added to describe products that surpass the original A rating. Introduced by the European Commission, the new Energy Labelling Framework Regulation mandates the use of new labels with a simpler scale. The current plus classes, (e.g. A+++, A++ and A+) will be replaced by a less confusing, uniform energy consumption scale from A to G. The new scale will still use the current seven-step colour scale.
“We are excited to welcome the new energy labelling framework as a bold opportunity towards greater sustainability,” said Andrzej Tuleja, General Manager, UK and Ireland, Whirlpool UK Appliances Limited. “As a company, Whirlpool has always sought to be at the forefront of sustainable best practices. We have led the way in more sustainable manufacturing that uses fewer resources and less energy, while supporting global efforts first through the Kyoto protocols and later by being early to exceed the targets set out by the Paris Agreement. We are also committed to help consumers on this journey too – through products that make it easier to reduce their household resource consumption in the home. By building on more rigorous measurement methods, the new energy label supports this by better representing the best performing appliances of today – and by setting ambitious targets for those of tomorrow too.”
A phased introduction
The transition to the new labels will take place in a couple of stages, with a transition period in advance of the introduction of the first labels:
The first appliances that will use the new energy labels from March 2021 are dishwashers, washing machines, washer-dryers, and refrigerators, including wine storage appliances, and freezers. From the second half of 2020, there will be a transition period when appliance manufacturers will need to include both the new label and the old label in the product packaging for any product placed on sale before the deadline of the 1st March 2021.
After 1st March 2021, any new products in the abovementioned appliance categories brought to market will be sold only with the new label.
Be aware of the changes and how the labels are different
While the new labels share the same seven step colour scale, it is important to note that the new, more modern methods of assessing efficiency will mean that a one-to-one conversion between the old and new energy classes is not possible. For example, to drive the market towards increasingly resource-efficient appliances in future, the revised grading system intentionally makes it more difficult for current products to receive the best energy ratings than with the previous label. As a result, only the very best performing products will now gain an A rating. Where products have both labels during the transition period it will be important for manufacturers to explain these differences.
“At Whirlpool, we want to help explain the new regulations so consumers won’t be confused. This is why we are taking the opportunity to publicise the changes,” explained Andrzej. “When buying a new appliance, consumers may find that due to the revision, many energy-efficient products that were previously at the top of the list will now be placed in lower classes. It is therefore important to make clear that the way in which the energy classification is communicated via the label has been changed but the efficiency of the product is the same as before.”
Other product categories – including ovens, tumble dryers and specialist cooling appliances will transition to the new label from 2022, so the older style label will still be used on these products until that point.
The new labels will offer consumers a built-in way to get the clearest ever understanding of a product’s energy performance and other characteristics: Each new label includes a QR code that consumers can scan with their phones to view comprehensive non-commercial information about a product via the new European Product Database for Energy Labelling (EPREL). Whirlpool has already invested significantly in providing this comprehensive and helpful product information to the EPREL database and will continue to do so to support more environmentally conscious buying decisions.