Romania, Cyprus and Italy will have to use energy labels to give consumers comparative information on the energy consumption of the products they buy or face legal action by the European Commission (EC). The countries should have already done so, but are yet to comply with the 2010 Energy Labeling Directive. The EC has urged the three countries to take action in this area, as well as encouraging manufacturers to develop products with a good energy efficiency rating.
“Italy, Cyprus and Romania will have to modify their legislation within two months or the European Commission may refer them to the European Court of Justice,” said Marlene Holzner, Commission spokesperson on energy. Despite letters of formal notice sent in July last year, none of them have informed the Commission on how the Energy Labeling Directive would be transposed into their national legislation.
The EU has committed itself to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 20 percent as compared to 1990 levels and to reduce by 20 percent the energy consumption through improved energy efficiency by 2020.
The new energy labels should be placed on refrigerators and freezers, washing machines, tumble driers, dishwashers, household lighting, room air conditioners and ovens. A new label for TVs has been introduced.
The initial law, adopted in 2003, classified products using a system of grades from A to G, with A being the most energy-efficient. The 2010 update brought the higher classes A+,A++ and A+++, as technological development of appliances had brought the majority of products already to class A.
The old Energy Labeling Directive helped save 40-50 Terawatt hours per year, the equivalent of Portugal's annual electricity consumption.