What makes new refrigerators more energy efficient

New energy efficiency classes for refrigerator and co

Status: 02/19/2021 2:22 p.m.

The energy consumption of electrical appliances does not only play a role for the environment. It also has a financial impact. With economical devices, consumers can save many euros per year.

From March 1, 2021, new energy efficiency classes for electrical appliances will apply in Europe. The classification is now from A to G.

The following devices receive the new energy label:

  • Fridges and freezers (including wine storage cabinets)
  • dishwasher
  • Washing machines and washer-dryers
  • TVs and monitors (electronic displays)

In the future, the new labels will not only show the annual consumption of a device. They also offer additional information, for example the running time of energy saving programs will be displayed in the future. A QR code is also given, which leads to the new European product database EPREL. There will be more information about the respective devices from March.

New energy classes for a better perspective

Up until now, electrical appliances have been classified on the basis of measurement and test procedures established years ago. As the manufacturers brought more and more efficient products onto the market, the additional information with the "+" became necessary. Or even with several plus signs: In the meantime, for example, many refrigerators are classified as "A +++", although there are considerable differences between the individual devices in terms of power consumption.

Consumer advice centers also criticized the fact that differentiation is now difficult to achieve. The new labeling is better because it differentiates more finely between the individual efficiency classes.

The new energy labels are now calculated using revised test procedures. These should better reflect the everyday use of the devices and thus indicate more realistic consumption. In previous tests, for example, dishwashers were only filled with porcelain plates; the new measuring methods now also include soiled pots and bowls.

Dishwashers and washing machines do worse at first

However, the new energy labels mean that even the latest washing machines and refrigerators will initially all slide into lower energy efficiency classes. The top energy savers sold today, for example, will all find themselves in the middle, between classes C to D. "The conditions for the new classes A and B are unlikely to be met by a refrigerator," says a website of the Federal Association of Consumer Centers on the subject.

Manufacturers should be motivated to manufacture even more economical devices. According to the Federal Ministry of Economics, the energy efficiency class plays an important role in the purchase decision for 80 percent of consumers.

New energy efficiency classes also for lamps and heating

"There is only a short transition period from March 1 to 18, 2021, during which retailers have to gradually change the labeling," says the Federal Association of Consumer Organizations in the case of washing machines and the like. The old labels may then no longer be used. In the meantime, it is already the case that both energy labels may never be shown for a device at the same time.

Little by little, all electrical devices will be given the new labels. The new classification for lamps will take place from September 2021. The changeover is planned for dryers, vacuum cleaners and ovens in 2024, and heating systems will receive new efficiency labels from 2026. All product groups are to be converted by 2030.

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Market | 02/22/2021 | 8:15 pm