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Day 6 - IFA International

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Sustainable Development

Sustainable Development Initiatives Learning to Love Labels New EU eco-labelling regulations come into force soon: how will they affect the industry? DOUGLAS HERBISON Douglas Herbison has been Chief Executive of AMDEA, the UK Association of Manufacturers of Domestic Appliances since 2006. For many years Douglas ran a European Consultancy in Brussels. He has also been a policy advisor to British Government Ministers, Manager of European Operations for the British Retail Consortium, and the first Secretary General of the European body now known as EuroCommerce. ENERGY EFFICIENCY DIRECTIVE Strong impetus to energy savings and energy efficiency On 22 June 2011, a new set of measures for increased Energy Efficiency was proposed by the European Commission to put the EU back on track. The proposal for this new directive brings forward measures to step up Member States’ efforts to use energy more efficiently at all stages of the energy chain – from the transformation of energy and its distribution to its final consumption. The Commission has proposed three simple but ambitious measures: • Legal obligation to establish energy saving schemes in all Member States • Public sector to lead by example • Major energy savings for consumers END-USE EFFICIENCY & ENERGY SERVICES The European Union (EU) has adopted a framework for energy end-use efficiency and energy services. Among other things, this includes an indicative energy savings target for the Member States, obligations on national public authorities as regards energy savings and energy efficient procurement, and measures to promote energy efficiency and energy services. New regulations concerning ecolabelling are coming into force this year. But just how will these affect the industry? Douglas Herbison, Chief Executive of AMDEA – the Association of Manufacturers of Domestic Appliances gives his organisation’s vision of how the current labelling changes will affect buyers and retailers. Interview by Richard Barnes There are two types of new Regulations – the Ecodesign Regulations that set minimum standards and specifications (and may also include a timetable for phasing out less efficient appliances) and the Energy Labelling Regulations which set the requirements for what the labels must show and how these figures must be calculated. The Framework Directive for both aspects has been revised in the past two years. Previously their implementing legislation was in the form of Directives but it looks as if the recast Directives will be implemented via European Regulations. So far, we have both types of Regulation for refrigerating appliances, washing machines, dishwashers and televisions. (Other products with labels are still subject to their existing directives). There is a transitional period until the new labels for these products become mandatory but they may be supplied voluntarily (and AMDEA has seen one for a dishwasher). The first three labels show A+++ to D. Televisions (which have not had labels before) are this year showing A-G but will change each year until they too show A+++ to D, which is the maximum allowed by this version of the Labelling Directive. The current situation for household fridgefreezers is essentially that after this summer all the appliances on sale in the EU will be A+ or A++. We understand that there may be an A+++ fridge-freezer available but generally the majority are currently A+ and it is not seen as likely that this will change. Modern fridge-freezers use less than half the electricity that even a 10-year old model uses and we are unlikely to see much more in the way of energy saving because we have reached the limit of what is technologically possible. What visibly will change for consumers when they look at products (in terms of labelling will it be very different)? The new labels are similar in format (coloured bands showing dark green as the most energy-efficient, red as the least) but are easier to understand as they have pictograms instead of text (e.g. a snowflake to show the volume of the freezer compartment). The noise rating is now mandatory. What does the future hold? Will we be seeing labels for other product categories? In theory we could eventually see both Ecodesign and Energy Labelling Regulations for all “energy-related” products (this could include taps and glazing). In the next year or so we could see both Regulations for ovens, hobs and grills, coffee machines, vacuum cleaners and water heaters (including electric showers). How is AMDEA helping manufacturers and retailers come to grips with the new labelling, and what is the exact roadmap for rollout? AMDEA is working with CECED, Defra, SWEA, retra and the BRC to ensure as many people as possible know what is happening. The situation at present is that manufacturers of the four products for which Labelling Regulations have been published can use them voluntarily. They will have to supply them from 20 December (30 November Douglas Herbison Chief Executive of AMDEA for fridges) 2011, and four months after that it will be mandatory for retailers to display them, and for any advertising material to state the energy rating. We assume that subsequent Labelling Regulations will follow the same pattern. “In theory we could eventually see both Ecodesign and Energy Labelling Regulations for all “energy-related” products” IFA International • Wednesday 7 th September 2011 41

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