Too many A-Grades lead to failure on European appliances | WWF

Too many A-Grades lead to failure on European appliances

Posted on
03 November 2009
Brussels, Belgium: Negotiations between Europe’s Presidency, Parliament and the European Commission have failed to reach agreement on new energy labeling requirements for electrical appliances.

The debate on the energy label has been very heated so far, with the European Parliament strongly voting in favour of a simple closed scale from A to G to grade the energy efficiency of the products, which was the option supported by WWF. The Commission favoured a complex, open scale and introduced percentages to the A grades, i.e. A-20%, A-40%. This proposal was rejected by the European Parliament, as well as consumer and environmental organizations for its confusing layout.

These opposite positions mirror the clashing interests of the industry on one hand, and consumer and environmental groups on the other hand.

The Swedish Presidency, leading what was supposed to be the last Trialogue on the new Energy Labelling Directive for appliances to have the new statndards ready for adoption in early December, published a compromise text  suggesting the introduction of additional A grades (A to A++++).

WWF felt the proposal took into account most of the industry-driven demands, would confuse consumers and would make an A-grade accessible to products with low energy efficiency.

“Not everybody deserves an A-Grade. That’s why WWF is very pleased with the European Parliament’s determination to find a solution which serves the best interests of consumers and the environment,” said Mariangiola Fabbri, Energy Policy Officer at WWF's European Policy Office.

A new Trialogue on Energy Labelling is yet to be scheduled.

Also upcoming is the last Trialogue to revise the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD) on 17 November. Currently, Europe’s buildings account for 40% of EU final energy use - which they waste in large proportion.

This energy warms the climate instead of homes, wastes money in the family budget, and increases the EU’s dependence on foreign energy supply for absolutely no benefit to Europe or its citizens.

Improving energy efficiency is a relatively cost effective way of reducing energy related emissions that are a major contributor to climate change, and can also help reduce the need for expensive and often environmentally damaging new power infrastructure.


Electronics and office equipment in standby mode are responsible for 1.5 percent of Switzerland’s annual electricity consumption.