New energy label driving and boosting innovation in products energy efficiency
The proposed action should cover one or more of the following points:
- Raise the capacity of manufacturers and, in particular, retailers (e.g. through a comprehensive training methodology, involving a series of hands-on applications in each Member State) to fulfil their obligations providing and displaying respectively the correct label at the point of sale;
- Develop and roll out tailored and effective actions focusing on awareness-raising and information campaigns to alert market actors (businesses, public procurement personnel, consumers etc.) of label rescaling, with a view to increasing understanding of labels and routing purchase decisions towards higher efficiency products. These actions should also address any additional references that may exist on the rescaled label (e.g. QR code);
- Exchange of best practices in relation to these campaigns, including through the recommendation of common key messages to the respective target groups.
All relevant stakeholders necessary for the successful implementation of the action should be involved (e.g. manufacturers, retailers, public procurement personnel and consumers).
The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of between EUR 1 and 1.5 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.
The energy label is a key driver for innovation in the energy efficiency area. For more than 20 years the tangible results of the transformation of the European market are being observed, where only the products with the highest energy efficiency parameters and innovative solutions to save energy are being commercialised. The energy label stimulates a real competition in innovation among product manufacturers. However the current energy label has a closed scale from A+++ to D, so once the majority of products reach the highest classes, the label no longer stimulates further innovation. Therefore, the Commission has proposed that, in future, labels will be 'rescaled' (as well as go back to A-G scale), i.e. existing products will be re-categorised in lower classes so that the top classes are empty and provide new stimulus for innovation. The ‘empty top-class’ label will be the strongest and continuous innovation trigger. Rescaling of labels would take place approximately every ten years or faster, if technology development and innovation has been faster than expected. This rescaling, will be a challenging operation in terms of organisation and provision of information to the concerned market actors, requiring technical guidance, communication and training campaigns, including during the transitional periods[[A period during which old (before the rescaling) and new rescaled labels for the same products would both be present in shops.]] in order that the new scale is correctly applied by manufacturers leaving enough space for future innovations. Customers' confusion should be avoided by replacing labels displayed on the affected products within a short timeframe in order to ensure consumer choice to be directed to the highest class innovative products.
Proposals are expected to demonstrate, depending on the scope addressed, the impacts listed below, using quantified indicators and targets wherever possible:
- Primary energy savings triggered by the project (in GWh/year);
- Investments in sustainable energy triggered by the project (million Euro);
- Number of stakeholders (e.g. public procurement personnel, businesses and consumers) informed by actions aiming at improving the understanding of rescaled labels, minimising any risk of confusion (at least 5 million stakeholders per million Euro of EU funding);
- Number of manufacturers, suppliers and retailers engaged by actions aiming at improving their understanding of rescaled labels, minimising the risk of confusion (at least 5 000 market actors per million Euro of EU funding);
- Reduced compliance costs, maximise legal certainty and minimise errors during the transition periods for suppliers and dealers.
Additional positive effects can be quantified and reported when relevant and wherever possible:
- Reduction of the greenhouse gases emissions (in tCO2-eq/year) and/or air pollutants (in kg/year) triggered by the project.