Energy label: what has changed since 1st November 2020?
Following the provisions of the framework Regulation (UE) 2017/1369 and of the relevant delegated acts, from 1st March 2021 some products such as dishwashers, washing machines, washer-dryers, refrigerators and electronic displays will be exhibited and sold in physical stores and online with a new energy label (light sources represent an exception: although they are also subjected to the change of the labelling system, it will be necessary to wait until 1st September 2021 to find their new labels in the points of sale. Therefore, the following instructions do not apply to this product category).
To allow producers, retailers and consumers to be prepared for the change, the European Union has planned a transition period during which it is possible to find products that contain both labels, the current one and the new re-scaled one. This transition period corresponds to the four months before 1st March 2021: therefore, it began on 1st November 2020.
Which are the responsibilities that producers and retailers have during this period?
First, it is necessary to clarify that retailers are not authorised neither to expose the new label nor to sell products with only the re-scaled label before 1st March 2021. Instead, starting from 1st November 2020 retailers can sell products with both the labels (of which only the old one visible in the stores).
Let’s make an example: if today a consumer shops online and the product is delivered directly to his apartment, there is a chance he/she will get a product with both the labels, the old one and the new one. Therefore, the consumer will see the new label even before it is displayed next to the product in the store (March 1, 2021).
In addition, for the products placed on the market before 1st November 2020 and that will be placed on the market even after this date, retailers can require to producers to provide the new re-scaled label for products that have only the old one.
What does this mean for household appliance producers? Producers have to answer to retailers’ requests, so they have to provide the re-scaled label for those products already on the market before November 2020 and placed on the market also after that date. Instead, for the products placed on the market starting from 1st November 2020, the producers have to provide both the labels if they want that their products are sold before 1st March 2021, or only the new label if the products will be sold starting from 1st March 2021.
In addition, starting from 1st November 2020 (the date is 1st May 2021 for lighting sources), producers of dishwashers, washing machines, washer-dryers, refrigerators and electronic displays have to register their products on the European Product Database for Energy Labelling (EPREL), by making a re-registration for products already placed on the market before 1st November 2020 or by making a new registration for the new models.