Whirlpool vows to support retailers as energy labelling changes come in

Whirlpool UK has pledged its support for retailers through the upcoming changes in the appliance energy labelling system, which are set to be introduced from March 2021.

The new energy label will make it simpler for consumers to choose the most energy efficient appliances. Now a familiar sight in shops and showrooms, the brightly-coloured product labels have proved successful and manufacturers like Whirlpool have created even more efficient products as awareness and demand for environmentally conscious choices has increased.

The current scaling (e.g. A+++, A++ and A+) will be replaced by a less confusing, uniform energy consumption scale from A to G. Introduced by the European Commission, the new Energy Labelling Framework Regulation scale will still use the current seven-step colour scale.

“We are excited to welcome the new energy labelling framework as a bold opportunity towards greater sustainability,” said Andrzej Tuleja, General Manager, UK and Ireland, Whirlpool UK Appliances Limited. “As a company, Whirlpool has always sought to be at the forefront of sustainable best practices. We have led the way in more sustainable manufacturing that uses fewer resources and less energy, while supporting global efforts first through the Kyoto protocols and later by being early to exceed the targets set out by the Paris Agreement.

“We are also committed to help consumers on this journey too – through products that make it easier to reduce their household resource consumption in the home. By building on more rigorous measurement methods, the new energy label supports this by better representing the best performing appliances of today – and by setting ambitious targets for those of tomorrow, too.”

A phased introduction

The transition to the new labels will take place in a couple of stages, with an advance transition period of introduction.

The first appliances that will use the new energy labels from March 2021 are dishwashers, washing machines, washer-dryers and refrigerators, as well as wine storage appliances, and freezers.

From the second half of next year, there will be a transition period when appliance manufacturers will need to include both the new label and the old label in the product packaging for any product placed on sale before the deadline of the 1 March 2021.

After this date, any new products in the abovementioned appliance categories brought to market will be sold only with the new label.

Be aware of the changes

The revised grading system intentionally makes it more difficult for current products to receive the best energy ratings than with the previous label. The same seven-step colour scale will be used but a one-to-one conversion between the old and new energy classes is not possible.

For example, only the very best performing products will now gain an ‘A’ rating. Where products have both labels during the transition period it will be important for manufacturers to explain these differences.

Added Mr Tuleja: “When buying a new appliance, consumers may find that due to the revision, many energy-efficient products that were previously at the top of the list will now be placed in lower classes. It is therefore important to make clear that the way in which the energy classification is communicated via the label has been changed but the efficiency of the product is the same as before.”

Other product categories – including ovens, tumble dryers and specialist cooling appliances – will transition to the new label from 2022.