EC consults on energy labelling and ecodesign rules

The European Commission is consulting on a planned review of the energy labelling and ecodesign directives. Stakeholders are being asked to give their views on the rules’ effectiveness and options to improve them.

Among other things, the commission wants to know if there is support for the introduction of new energy classes to reflect constant advances in product design. This could be done through a new A++++ or radically different scales.

Furthermore, stakeholders are invited to comment on how to improve the way information on the labels is displayed, a matter that has been extensively debated over the past few years. Other issues are also resurfacing, such as whether additional data such as products’ life expectancy should be included.

To tackle non-compliance problems, the commission suggests a number of options including the creation of an EU-wide market surveillance authority or of a mandatory product database. Some EU measures have already been announced in this area. In April, a survey found that compliance was improving.

Regarding the ecodesign directive specifically, one of the questions being asked is whether its scope should be extended to non energy-related products.

The comments, which must be sent by 30 November, will feed into a consultancy report evaluating the effectiveness of the two directives. According to a timetable presented by the consultants in at a meeting in June, the first findings should come out in December, followed by a final report in June 2014.

The 2010 energy labelling directive requires the commission to produce this report by 31 December 2014. A review of EU ecodesign rules concluded that regulatory changes were unnecessary but it was decided that certain aspects could be revisited in 2014 as part of the energy labelling evaluation.