Compromise amendments to the draft Energy Labelling Regulation went to the European parliamentary committee for voting on 14 June. The agreed text will now go before the whole European Parliament, possibly in July, after which there will be further negotiations.
Many of the amendments had cross-party support from MEPs so were expected to go through, while others were more controversial.
The latest draft retains the commitment to a 7-scale label, dark green to red, but it now seems likely that for new labels there will be no A-rated products products (and possibly no B either) when they are introduced, and if lower scales cease to be populated they will only be shown in grey.
The option to rescale will be triggered when certain percentages of the market reach the top one or two scales or within three years of the lowest grades becoming empty. Preparatory studies will also consider options to include requirements for other environmental impacts, where accurate information on such impacts can be provided.
However, there is also a determination to rescale all existing labels that have plusses, with different timescales depending on their current status, regardless of whether their current trigger for rescaling has been reached.
The planned database is expected to be split into two parts, with the technical information for the label being accessible to all, and the detailed test data only being made available to the Commission and Market Surveillance Authorities.
There is also a suggestion that the supporting measurement standards will need amendment because of a belief that current test methods do not sufficiently reflect “real-life usage” and indeed that the option to declare the most energy efficient mode achievable is cheating if the consumer might use the product differently!