‘Simpler and stricter’ EU energy labels for lighting products come into effect

Under the new A-G scale, very few products are initially able to achieve the ‘A’ and ‘B’ ratings, leaving space for more efficient products to gradually enter the market

The Big Zero report

EU energy labels that are “simpler and stricter” for light bulbs and other lighting products are applicable in all shops and online retail outlets from today.

Under the new A-G scale, very few products are initially able to achieve the ‘A’ and ‘B’ ratings, leaving space for more efficient products to gradually enter the market.

The most energy efficient products currently on the market will typically be labelled as ‘C’ or ‘D’ now, with a number of new elements included on the labels, such as a QR code that links to an EU-wide database where consumers can find more details about the product.

In order to allow for existing stock sale, the rules provide an 18-month period where the products with the old labels can continue to be sold on the market in physical retail outlets.

For online sales, however, the old labels will have to be replaced by the new ones within 14 working days.

Around 1,500 million light sources were estimated to have been sold in the EU in 2020 but the figure is expected to fall to 600 million – or 60% less – in 2030 even though the number of light sources used will rise by more than 17%.

That’s because of the greater energy efficiency and in particular, the longer lifetime of LED light sources.

The EU Commission’s impact assessment of the new rules indicates the changes will save around seven million tonnes of CO2 equivalent a year by 2030, relative to a business-as-usual scenario.

The latest measure follows a rescaling of the energy labels in March 2021 for four other product categories – fridges and freezers, dishwashers, washing machines and televisions.

EU Energy Commissoner Kadri Simson said: “Our lamps and other lighting products have become so much more efficient in the recent years that more than half of LEDs are now in the A++ class. Updating the labels will make it easier for consumers to see what are the ‘best in class’ products, which in turn will help them to save energy and money on their bills.

“Using more energy efficient lighting will continue to reduce the EU greenhouse gas emissions and contribute to becoming climate neutral by 2050.”

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