Monday , August 15 2022

From A to G, the new alphabet to take the (ecological) footprint of our appliances:


A +++, C, F. Letters and signs that often catch our attention when we are in front of a new appliance, from the fridge to the washing machine. We talk about the energy label, a set of information that indicates the efficiency or consumption of a product (which will then translate into the final amount of our bill). The issue became very topical when on March 1, 2021 the European Union decided to change these labels because they are now considered inappropriate.. To understand: if before the efficiency rating scale went from A +++ (maximum efficiency) to D (minimum), now the language has been simplified, leaving only A to G.

“The EU has put itself in the consumer perspective,” explains Eva Alessi, head of sustainability at WWF Italy. “New models of home appliances on the market are becoming more efficient, most are classified as A +++ or A ++, while the lower classes practically no longer exist. Hence the reasoning of the European Union which has “rescaled” efficiency by reducing the number of letters available. In practice, classes E and F are no longer on the market, so it was obsolete to continue to have these classes.“. Within the label, depending on the product category, the information displayed changes: the class A of a washing machine, for example, is different from that of a TV screen. They range from the consumption of water to the noise emitted.

The seals of new products

The change of direction was immediate for the “new” products, still in production, which were to show the new labels in a fortnight. For products that are already on the market, the final change will be made from November 30th. “The criteria have become stricter and no appliance will enter range A, but perhaps B and CAlessi continues, specifying at the time: “This does not mean that appliances consume more, on the contrary, the performance is the same if not better. The new scale will give a new impetus to producers to further improve efficiency. The transition will end on March 1, 2024, when some Class F appliances and appliances in our Class G will no longer be available for sale.. Meanwhile, in these early months we were able to see appliances with two labels, the old and the new. (keep reading after the links)

The doubt triggered by the double label

We should not be scared, we are reassured by the WWF Italy expert, because “The double label is an accompaniment of the consumer to the new, the old A +++ that becomes B or C. This helps us learn to ‘read’ and understand the new information.”. In fact, double labeling confirms that the product meets the requirements of both. More specifically, the new labels apply from March to refrigerators and freezers, dishwashers, washing machines and external monitors (such as TVs or personal computers). Since September 1 they have also been applied to light bulbs and lamps with fixed light sources. Finally, as specified by the European Community on its website (read here), in the coming years will also be the turn of other products.

The technical file

The European Union’s commitment to the environment has not only been limited to energy efficiency, but has also given rise to a number of ecodesign standards, in particular as regards repairability and the obligation of manufacturers of keep spare parts available for several years, even after products. they are no longer on the market. But let’s get back to it information contained within the labels: those who want to enter them more specifically have a QR code (printed next to the classification) that allows them to enter the data sheet of the product.

And the old appliances?

Thanks to the smartphone, in short, it is possible to access a database managed directly by the Union, which indicates the detailed consumption of the new device. “For washing machines, dishwashers and dryers, we refer to the consumption calculated in three hundred washing cycles. For a refrigerator, on the other hand, it is calculated based on the thousand hours of use “, explains Alessi. “Finally, for a dishwasher the reference is washing in ECO mode. These are simpler parameters to understand what the final consumption will be, another way to make the label more comprehensible.

Fully loaded

But if from November 30 there will be the final step to the new labels, how will this impact the market? Alessi has no doubt: “Something will be discounted, there will be offers to empty “old” product stores, but they shouldn’t let us be fooled by the prices. Remember that a less expensive product will pollute more and in a few years we will find ourselves amortizing, in terms of consumption, what we have not spent now for the purchase ». In short, it is not worth buying an appliance that costs less, because it is an exciting price, which we will not amortize. I if an efficient product is the best choice, let’s not forget that we can also make a difference in everyday behavior. “At home we consume too much water and too much electricity, which become harmful emissions,” reflects the responsible sustainability of WWF Italy. “What can we do? First: very good maintenance of household appliances, for example cleaning the refrigerator joints, do not overload it, keep it away from the oven and stove and remove it from the walls to prevent overheatingor. Secondly, a reasoned use: dishwasher and washing machine always fully charged and with low temperature washing. Third, the time slots: if any, we respect the. It will be better for the bills and for the environment.

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