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European Parliament Report on Energy Labelling Undermines Sustainable Industrial Policy


11 Mar 2009

Brussels, 10 March 2009: CECED, the European domestic appliance manufacturer’s association says energy efficiency and innovation are being hindered by the European Parliament. The ITRE Committee yesterday voted to amend the proposed Energy Labelling Framework Directive, approving the principle of a closed “A to G” energy label.

“Yesterday’s decision by the ITRE Committee risks undermining the EU goals of encouraging sustainable consumption and production and sustainable industrial policy,” said Luigi Meli, Director General of CECED, “A closed energy label puts a ceiling on the level of improvement industry can show and legally limits us from striving for even greater energy efficiency at a faster pace.”
He added that “the current revision of the EU Energy Labelling Directive is a major opportunity to give full transparency to consumers on technological innovation and the possibility of comparing old and new products simply. A dynamic, open label can accelerate innovation and technological progress. This cannot be done with a closed energy label.”
A closed label entails continuous downgrading of products, something which would utterly confuse the marketplace, jeopardise the trust in the energy label and have a major negative impact on the economic prospects of any product that is covered by the labelling obligations, slowing down further energy efficiency gains.
During the past decade, European domestic appliance manufacturers have dramatically increased the energy efficiency of their products while keeping prices constant. They have pioneered the use of energy labels to market top-of-the line, technologically advanced and efficient products for European consumers. All refrigerators or dishwashers sold today in the EU consume up to 70% less than what they consumed a decade ago. The current EU Energy Labelling Directive is 15 years old and needs to be updated in a way that will secure the integrity of the EU energy label in the mind of the consumer and will encourage investment, technological progress and competition to achieve greater efficiency.
“We urge members of the European Parliament and other decision-makers to avoid legislation that runs counter to the EU’s efforts to conduct a sustainable industrial policy. Europe must strive for a solution able to encourage investments for energy efficiency, as clear as possible for consumers, yielding the best possible environmental benefits. That is only possible with an open-ended scale,” Mr. Meli said.                                               
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