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New 2021 Energy Ratings Explained!

10th March 2021

When you purchase a new appliance for your home, it's important to consider how it's energy efficiency ratings can help you cut your energy costs and overall energy consumption.

To help you understand the energy rating that products have, most electrical goods come with an energy efficiency label. This label provides a rating for the appliance as well as helpful information on how much water or electricity it uses and how much noise it might create in your home.

As of March 2021, these labels will be changing, so we're here to help explain why, and what to expect from the updated labelling and rating system!

Why are the energy ratings changing?

These labels have been a well recognised feature on our appliance purchases for over 25 years! So it's about time they got an upgrade.

Over the years since the energy label system started, there has been amazing advancements in energy saving technology, which means that many electrical goods are being given the highest rating for efficiency.

The most important change that has been re-introduced is the simple A-G scale. With more and more products achieving ratings as A+, A++ or A+++ according to the current scale, this leaves no room for companies to innovate further and continue to introduce more energy efficient products into the market. The A-G scale is more strict, and designed to prevent so many new products from achieving the highest rating initially, and to set new standards for the future of appliances.

With the updated scale, new icons and even category specific changes, the new labels will make choosing the right appliance with the best energy efficiency, and comparing appliances even easier for you.

When are the energy ratings changing?

The new energy rating labels came in to effect on the 1st of March 2021.

What does this mean for current products?

There will be a transition period following the start date in March, where both the old and new labels will be included on products. This will ensure that you have the right label according to the current regulations.

The most energy efficient products currently on the market will typically now be labelled as "B", "C" or "D". This will allow for companies to make improvements on their products, and to continue introduce more energy efficient products, with more room higher up on the scale for innovations. For some products, the new scale will bring huge changes to their overall rating.

For example, this Samsung fridge freezer, with a previous high rating of A+, will now be considered an F on the new ratings. A reduction in ratings like this one could cause products to be seen as having bad energy efficiency, when they were highly rated before.

With the transition period and using both labels on current products for the time being, you'll still be able to see that the product you're choosing has good energy efficiency based on the previous scale.

What do the updates include?

The new energy efficiency labels will be updated with a new scale and simplified icons, with more consistency to compare products in different categories. The features below have been adjusted and added to the new labels:

  • A simplified rating scale of A-G without additional pluses
  • Icons to represent more energy efficient features and functions, relating to different categories
  • Consistent units for measuring energy and water consumption or noise emissions
  • QR code to scan and access further product information

Which products will use the new energy ratings system?

The key products that have been updated in March 2021 include:

Will the labels be the same for all appliances?

All appliances will use the same A-G rating scale, and same basic features such as the QR code to access more information, as well as the standard kWh measure for energy consumption. Due to the different uses of many products, there will be also category specific changes. This will include new icons that show ratings for useful information relating to the category.

For example; washing machines and washer dryers will now include a rating for weighted water consumption and spin efficiency class, providing you with an easy scale to compare the different types of machines, models and brands.

Refrigerators and fridge freezers will include information on total volumes of compartments, and the same scale for noise emission ratings as other kitchen appliances such as washing machines and dishwashers.

For TVs and Electronic displays such as monitors, Energy consumption will now be detailed per 1,000 hours of use for both Standard Dynamic Range (SDR) and High Dynamic Range (HDR), making this easier to compare and calculate your consumption.

Will any products still use the old system?

There are a number of products such as air conditioners, heaters and tumble dryers that are not yet using the updated label system. These will be updated at a later date, once new UK regulations relating to these types of products come into force. Because of this, these products will keep the old label system for the time being, but will be updated in the coming years!

Lighting products are also due to join the list of products taking on the new label system, but this will be implemented later in 2021.

Ovens and cookers will not be using the new energy rating labels.

Look out for the new labels from March 2021!

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