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Parliament and Council reach informal agreement over energy labelling

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The European Parliament and Council have reached an informal agreement on the Commission’s energy labelling proposal. MEPS and Member States agreed that an extra category (A+++) should be added to the A-G scale but that the total number of energy classes should be limited to seven. Classifications will be rescaled when a third of the products in a category reach A++ category. Manufacturers will be obliged to indicate the energy consumption irrespective of whether the product performs well (dark green “A” class), or poorly (red “G” class), on this measure.

Most significantly, the energy labelling obligation will apply to energy-related products, including construction products, which do not consume energy but “have a significant direct or indirect impact” on energy savings such as window glazing and frames or outer doors. The technical details of the Directive, such as the energy classes of specific products, will be determined by a Commission working group.

The compromise text agreed upon in November still has to be formally approved by the Council before Parliament as a whole gives its final endorsement at the start of 2010. Once adopted and published in the EU Official Journal, Member States will have 12 months to adapt their national laws to the new EU rules.