Energy labels help to optimize and compare electricity consumption

The renewed EU energy labels officially became valid 1.3.2021 for large refrigerators and household appliances as well as entertainment electronics. The energy labels were later renewed 1.5.2021 also for tires and from 1.9.2021 for lamps and lighting, for which the new energy labels must be put to use by 1.3.2023 at the latest. For other electrical appliances, the energy labels have been ordered to be updated by 2025, which is why the old and new labels will continue to run side by side for a while.

What do the new energy labels contain and why is it important to change them? Next, we will go through why energy labels needed to be renewed, how they affect the monitoring of your household's electricity consumption, and what information they contain about electrical appliances.


New energy labels and categories in practice

EU's new energy labels specify electrical appliances their energy consumption with classifications A–G. In the old energy label, the highest rating was A+++ and the lowest was D, while in the new one, A is the highest rating and G is the lowest. The new classification is defined in the EU’s Energy Labelling Regulation and the national eco-design directive. The reason behind the change is the desire to inform consumers in a clearer way about the actual energy consumption and efficiency of electrical appliances, and to make it easier to compare different appliances. Energy labels are uniform throughout the European Union.

Since electrical appliances no longer include the old plus categories A+, A++ and A+++, a new efficiency category must be tested for each electrical appliance. The old and new energy classes therefore do not directly correlate with each other, and when the energy classification changed, several electrical appliances may have dropped from plus classes to even the lowest categories E–G. Although the electricity consumption of such devices has not changed at all from before, such a large category difference compared to the previous high classification can appear very radical to the consumers.

However, the change is basically about making electrical devices much more comparable with each other, which is why old device models should be placed in the right position on the market compared to more energy-efficient devices. The use and testing requirements of appliances are also higher than before, which has also led to the need to update energy labels to better serve current technology.


What does the new energy label contain?

The new energy label gives the consumer more important information about the device's features and technical data than the old energy label. A clear A–G scale is marked with different colours at the top of the energy symbol, with A naturally being the highest and G the lowest. Depending on the device and its features, the small symbols show, for example, its volume, sound level in decibels, filling amount, capacity, or screen resolution. Here you can get to know the contents of the energy labels of the largest product groups in more detail.

The energy label also contains information about the device's consumption in kilowatt hours and a readable QR code. The QR code allows you to view more detailed information about the device from the European EPREL database for energy labels when the code is scanned with a smartphone code reader. In the database, you can check, depending on the type of device, for example its size and dimensions, power, climate class, energy efficiency index and even the various functions it contains. In order for an electrical device to be sold on the EU market, it must be registered in the EPREL database.


The new energy classification serves the consumer and future innovations

Placing all electrical appliances in the A–G classification makes shopping easier for consumers. You can easily compare devices with each other, choose the most suitable energy class for your wallet and needs, and find the most energy-efficient devices in the jungle of electrical devices. We don't necessarily think about how much energy old electrical appliances actually consume, so the new energy labels also serve as a clear electricity and money-saving tip when visiting home appliance stores. At the same time, we get to investigate the differences between the devices better when they are clearly visible in the form of uniform energy class.

The new energy classifications also give room for future innovations, when new and more energy-efficient solutions are constantly being developed to replace old technologies. Thus, the new energy labels serve modern electrical devices well when their development can be aimed at class A without the former plus-class and high-energy-consuming devices wrongly competing in the same category. In this way, the new energy label acts as an investment in the development of future technologies, which is visible to consumers in the form of devices that consume less and less energy.


Key terms explained

Class A

The highest classification for appliances which use the least amount of energy, making the product the most energy-efficient and the eco-friendly option.

Energy label

The energy label explains the energy consumption of the appliance on a scale of A–G, in addition to other useful and technical information. Up until 2025 the new and old energy labels will be in use side-by-side which why old categories such as A+, A++, and A+++ will be available for some appliances. See also: Energy label reform

Energy label reform

Energy labels in the EU were updated in March 2021 and new scale of A–G was introduced. The new classification corresponds to higher energy efficiency even better. The updated energy labels help consumer to better compare appliances and make the best choice possible.


Energy efficiency refers to the efficiency ratio between the energy consumed by the device and the efficiency, i.e., how efficient the device is in relation to the amount of energy it consumes. Electrical devices that consume as little energy as possible in relation to their efficiency are called energy efficient. By choosing such a device, you can reduce the costs of using it and the environmental impact it causes.

EPREL database

A European product database of energy labels, where all devices requiring an energy label must be registered. Information entered in the EPREL database can be read, for example, using the energy label's scannable QR code.