Low compliance with energy labelling rules

Lack of enforcement is undermining the "proper functioning" of the EU energy label Directive, according to a review commissioned by Anec, the European consumer body for standardisation.

Nearly a third of UK appliances are still unlabelled 12 years after the compulsory A-G energy labelling scheme was introduced in 1995. And government-commissioned product testing to independently verify label claims remains "the exception rather than the rule".

Many appliances only meet label energy ratings because of the high measurement tolerances allowed in European standards, the researchers claimed.

Tests on 66 domestic fridges and freezers by the government’s Market Transformation Programme last year found widespread non-compliance.

Only 14 appliances matched their claimed energy class. Forty-two used more energy than claimed but were within a 15% tolerance limit. A futher ten used 15% more energy than claimed.

While the UK reported that it carried out shop inspections, authorities do not appear to have asked for corrective action or taken legal action.

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