Energy efficiency label: EU Parliament scores victory for consumers and sends Commission back to the drawing board
PRESS RELEASE – Strasbourg, 6 May 2009
Yesterday the European Parliament plenary voted in favour of the Podimata report – taking on board certain key amendments – relating to the Directive on energy efficiency labelling on household appliances. Today the plenary voted on “implementing measures” relating to new energy efficiency labels for fridges and TVs – rejecting the ill-conceived Commission proposals for televisions with an absolute majority (399 votes). 389 MEPs voted against the proposed label for fridges, a clear majority of MEPs present but just short of the absolute majority needed (393 votes). (1)
Finnish Green MEP Satu Hassi commented:
“Parliament’s votes in favour of a closed A-G energy label are a victory for consumers and a strong signal to Member States and the EU Commission that they must revise the label to make it meaningful while keeping it understandable. A meaningful label for consumers means a real obligation for industry to step up efforts to improve the energy efficiency of their products.
The current A-G scale is an EU success story – instantly recognisable and understandable to consumers in Europe and in the many countries where the system has been copied. It was long overdue for an update however, since for years industry has successfully resisted meaningful revision of the A-G grade thresholds.
This has led to a ridiculous situation where 95% of fridges on the market today get some form of A rating for energy efficiency. Industry will no longer be allowed to rest on its laurels and maintain A grades gained 10 or more years ago. It will have to regularly compete for their products to win the top efficiency grades, in the same way that sports stars have to fight to retain their titles and championships.
While consumer and environmental groups were united in supporting a closed A-G scale with regular updates and validity periods indicated, industry cynically played the consumer champion in their attempts to resist it.”
The European Commission should propose closed A-G labels not only for TVs as obliged by today’s vote, but also for fridges and other appliances that in future fall in the scope of the Directive. Sticking to its ill-conceived original proposal will only delay the inevitable decision for a closed A-G scale as supported by Parliament.” (2)
Luxembourg MEP Claude Turmes added:
“Today the EU Parliament has scored a victory for consumers and sent the Commission back to the drawing board. The Commission must come back with a proposal that respects the closed A-G scale for energy labels and guarantees that the grades remain meaningful through regular updates of their energy efficiency thresholds. This clear and informative label must apply to televisions, fridges and other appliances that will be covered by these rules in future.
The white goods industry may have qualified themselves for next year’s ‘Worst EU lobbying awards’ for their misleading campaign. Fortunately they have failed to secure real support for a system that would continue to grant an A grade efficiency label to virtually all of their products.”
Notes to editors:
(1) The Podimata report on the Directive – voted yesterday – relates to a co-decision process, which once concluded should replace the current Energy Labelling directive.
Today’s vote on new energy efficiency labels for fridges and TVs relates to a ‘comitology’ process on “implementing measures” to be adopted under the current Directive.
(2) The Podimata report states that implementing measures should be aligned with the Directive provisions not later than six months after the Directive comes into force.