The EU Energy Label
The European Union Energy Label was introduced to allow consumers to factor in energy performance when purchasing new domestic appliances. Initially the label only applied to a small number of product groups, but with the ongoing implementation of the EU Energy-related Products Directive and Energy Labelling Directive, you will see the label appear on more and more electrical and electronic goods.
The new Energy Label must currently be displayed on the following product groups:
- fridges and freezers
- washing machines, tumble dryers and washer-dryers
- air conditioners
- electric ovens
- light bulbs
The mandatory energy label from 2020
New energy label scales for televisions came into force in November 2011. While the current label still ranges from A (most efficient) to G (least efficient), this will move to a scale of A+ to F on 1stJanuary 2014. That means no G-rated TVs will be permitted to be put on to the market after that date (old stock may still be sold).
However, for models already complying with the energy-efficiency requirements of the label classes above A, manufacturers may use the appropriate label covering these. So you may see several different versions of the energy label when shopping for a new one.
From 2017, only models rated between A++ and E will be permitted and from 2020 energy efficiency requirements will be tightened even further with only A+++ to D rated models being allowed. The old versions of the label will be phased out accordingly.
For the most efficient model, look for the darkest green label band. Our Top10 ranking is based on the official Energy Efficiency Index which shows the differentiation within the top label class(es).
The energy class is based on energy consumption per inch of the display screen, making the label class relative to the size of the TV, rather than the absolute energy consumption. This can be misleading as it makes it difficult to cross-compare between different screen sizes.
Generally the larger the screen size, the more energy the appliance will consume. However, this is not a hard and fast rule. Which? tests found highly-efficient large TV screens that consume less energy than models half their size. So it pays to check the annual energy consumption stated on the label – this is based on a daily use of four hours. Actual energy consumption will vary according to individual usage.
The label also shows the wattage used by the appliance in on-mode – this is denoted by the wattage listed next to the switch logo.