The Directive is the fourth in a series adopted under a parent 1992 Directive on energy labelling of household appliances. Fridges and freezers, washing machines and tumble driers were covered by the three earlier Directives, which are intended to provide readily understood information on energy efficiency to consumers.
The new Directive requires labels to be affixed to mains-operated dishwashers showing where their energy consumption falls on a seven-point scale. The label must also display their specific energy consumption, cleaning and drying performance, water consumption and noise emissions. Similar information must be provided where dishwashers are on sale but not on display in shops and in mail-order catalogues.
Member States must bring the Directive into force by 15 June 1998, although appliances not conforming to its requirements may remain on sale until the end of 1998.
Separately, the Commission has announced that a new European standard, EN50229, has been agreed defining methods for measuring the performance of washer-driers.2 The standard will now have to be used when measuring their performance for the purposes of the energy labelling Directive.