The new energy label and how to read it

Energy label main Quiet Mark

We’ve all seen the multi-coloured energy label stickers when buying appliances, right?

They usually show a range of bars, in shades of green and red, to show how an appliance’s energy efficiency is graded and with a black arrow indicating where your design sits on the scale.

Originally, the energy label ranged from A to D – but as technology evolved and ovens, hobs, and more used less electricity, the range of ratings was extended and A+, A++, and A+++ were added.

But this year, everything is changing. The EU is adapting a new labelling system – and although the UK is no longer a member state, we will also see the energy label change.

SupremeClean freestanding dishwasher WFC 3C24 P, £379.99, Whirlpool.

When will the new label be introduced?

The official switchover date is 1 March 2021, so we only have a few weeks to go – but don’t worry, change won’t come all of a sudden.

After all, we’re used to the existing system, so simply swapping it out would be more confusing than helpful.

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Instead, there will be a transition period lasting a few months where both labels will be displayed, so you will know exactly what you’re looking at when making a purchase.

Many manufacturers, including Bosch, are already displaying the new rating, too, so you have plenty of time to get used to the change.

What’s different about the new energy label?

As mentioned, the classification scale has changed to be simpler.

WW9800T washing machine, £1099, and DV8000 dryer, £869, Samsung.

Instead of having an A+++ rating at the top and running down to D, it will now once again start from A and end with G.

The energy label will also show you how much electricity your appliance need – although that will look different, depending on what you’re buying.

For a washing machine or dishwasher, it’ll show you how many kWh it uses per 100 washing cycles – but for a fridge-freezer, the label will tell you how much electricity it uses per year.

There will also be symbols displayed below, to give you even more information about how efficient an appliance is.

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When looking at a washing machine, for example, it’ll show you how much capacity it has for the eco programme and which spin-drying efficiency class it falls under.

A fridge-freezer’s label, on the other hand, will allow you to see the capacity (in litres) of it’s freezing as well as its chilling compartments on one glance.

And for a dishwasher, the energy label will not only show you how efficient it is, but also how many place settings it can hold for the eco programme, how much water the cycle will use, and – very handy – how long the eco setting runs for.

Featured image: Appliances are not just getting more efficient, their noise levels are also going down – this LG InstaView door-in-door GSI960PZVV American-style fridge-freezer, £1300, is Quiet Mark certified, so you know it’s hush hush.

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