New energy labels will increase public carbon footprint awareness

New energy labels are coming into effect to bring EU consumers a better understanding of their carbon footprint and energy consumption.

Irish lighting company Solus outline what exactly is changing when the mandatory new European Commission energy labelling regulations come into effect on September 1.

A brand-new version of the widely-recognised EU energy label for light bulbs and light sources will be applicable in all shops and online retailers from September 1 with an 18-month transition period for products already on the market.

On May 20, Solus hosted an informative webinar presented by broadcaster Jonathan Healy with panel of experts from government and compliance bodies including Minister Pippa Hackett, SEAI Programme Manager Tim Stokes and Elizabeth O’Reilly, Environmental Compliance and Membership Manager for WEEE Ireland. The webinar brought clarity on exactly what this new legislation entails, what timelines are in place and how the industry and its retailers can be compliant.

The most important change is a return to a simple A-G scale on energy labels because more and more products are now achieving ratings as A, A+ or A++ according to the current scale causing confusion for consumers. The new energy label will leave empty energy efficiency classes at the top of the scale for advancing technologies and to encourage manufacturers to develop more energy efficient products.

A further significant change is the introduction of a QR code. By scanning the QR-code, consumers can find additional information about the product model. By law, all energy labelled products on the EU market have to be registered in a new EU-wide database - European Product Registry for Energy Labels (EPREL ).

Eco-design rules are mandatory for almost all lamps sold in the EU. From 1 September 2021, the existing rules will be repealed and replaced to include circular economy requirements. According to Elizabeth O Reilly from WEEE Ireland, “3.2 million light bulbs were recycled in Ireland in their last full recorded year in 2019 and 38,000 tonnes of electrical waste was taken back from landfill for use in manufacturing again.”

The extensive new EU regulations are the result of nearly five years of negotiations and it will be mandatory for all manufacturers and retailers to comply. The new rules consist of the Single Lighting Regulation (SLR ) and the Energy Labelling Regulation (ELR ).

“We are in a time of transition to tackle climate change and create a new green economy. It is important that this change happens at a political level, at a corporate level and at a consumer level.” said Minister Pippa Hackett as she commended Solus on taking a proactive approach to sustainability and the new regulations.

Solus is a proud Irish company and welcomes these new regulations which are in line with their progressive Planet First sustainability programme. The new energy labels will give clarity on energy efficiency for consumers and also ensure that businesses continue to innovate.

 

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