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Eco Labelling

There are two pieces of EU legislation relating to energy labelling of products. Together with, inter alia, the rules on eco-design discussed in the previous section, these are part of the Union’s attempts to achieve sustainable consumption, or in other words, the decoupling of environmental degradation from economic growth.[1] [2] [3] [4] [5] One of these is Directive 2010/30/EU on the indication by labelling and standard product information of the consumption of energy and other resources by energy-related products. 102 This Directive, which is a recast and expanded version of a directive from 1992,W3 is based on the presumption that if end- users are provided with accurate and comparable information on the specific energy consumption of energy-related products they will favour products which consume less energy and other essential resources, thus prompting manufacturers to provide more resource-efficient products. 104 In line with this, it establishes a framework for the harmonisation of national measures on end-user information, particularly by means of labelling and standard product information, on the consumption of energy and, where relevant, of other essential resources during use (Art 1). The legal basis used is Article 194 TFEU, that is, energy policy.

The Member States must ensure that suppliers placing on the market or putting into service products covered by a product specific Commission Delegated Regulation supply a label and a standard table of information (‘fiche’) that conform to the Directive and the applicable delegated regulation.105 Dealers must display labels properly and make the fiche available in the product brochure. (Arts 5—6.)

The label shall include a classification using letters from A to G corresponding to significant energy and cost savings from the end-user perspective. The three additional classes A+, A++, and A+++ may be added if required by technological progress. (Art 10.)

The placing on the market or putting into service of products which are covered by and comply with the Directive and the applicable delegated act shall not be impeded (Art 8).

The second piece of EU legislation in this area is Regulation (EC) No 106/ 2008 on an EU energy-efficiency labelling programme for office equipment,106 which is a recast of a regulation from 2001.w It lays down the requisite rules for the EU’s participation in the international Energy Star programme, which is now based on a 2012 agreement between the US government and the EU on the coordination of energy-efficiency labelling programmes for office equipment. (Art 1.)

The Regulation deals with voluntary labelling programmes. Programme participants may use the common Energy Star logo on their individual office equipment products, as defined in Annex C to the Agreement, and on associated promotional material (Arts 2 and 4).

Based on the international agreement, the EU participates in the drawing up of technical specifications for the labelling programme. The implementation of the programme within the EU is reviewed by the European Community Energy Star Board (ECESB), consisting of national representatives and representatives of interested parties. (Art 8.)

The Regulation is based on the predecessor to the current Article 192 TFEU.

In 2015 the Commission adopted a proposal for a new regulation on energy efficiency labelling which would repeal Directive 2010/30/EU.W8 While retaining the objectives and main principles of Directive 2010/30/EU, the intention is to clarify, strengthen, and extend the scope compared to Directive 2010/30/EU by, inter alia, updating the label and allowing for rescaling, improving enforcement, and making clearer the obligations of the various parties.109

  • [1] See further Communication from the Commission on the Sustainable Consumption andProduction and Sustainable Industrial Policy Action Plan (25 June 2008) COM(2008) 397 final.
  • [2] Directive 2010/30/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council on the indication bylabelling and standard product information of the consumption of energy and other resources byenergy-related products [2010] OJ L 153/1.
  • [3] юз Council Directive 92/75/EEC on the indication by labelling and standard product informationof the consumption of energy and other resources by household appliances [1992] OJ L 297/16.
  • [4] 1°4 Preambular para 5.
  • [5] For an example of such a delegated regulation, see Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) No665/2013 supplementing Directive 2010/30/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council withregard to energy labelling of vacuum cleaners [2013] OJ L 192/1.
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