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Energy label: few manufacturers keep their promises
Consumers use the information on appliance energy labels when deciding which appliance to purchase, but that information is only useful if it's accurate.
Unfortunately tests carried out recently under ATLETE (Appliance Testing for Energy Label Evaluation) - the project funded by the European Commission to test the compliance of 80 different models of refrigerators and freezers with EU energy labelling standards - showed that few manufacturers are complying with the regulations.
Tests show that only 47% of the products, all on the EU market, are true to their labelling on the basis of five parameters: energy consumption, storage temperature (including climate class), net volume, freezing capacity and temperature rise time.
That percentage rises to 84% if efficiency class declaration only is considered, together with its two related parameters; energy consumption and storage volume.
"Currently, the level of market surveillance for appliance energy labelling in most European Union Member States is too low," says ATLETE's project co-ordinator Andrea Ricci. "We therefore hope that the positive experience of this project will support efforts for a greater level of market surveillance activity from national authorities."
Of the 40 manufacturers involved in the test, Whirlpool is one of the few correctly labelling its appliances under the perspective of both energy efficiency and capacity.
"Care for the environment and energy efficiency are indeed priorities for us," says Whirlpool EMEA president Bracken Darrell. "Correct energy labelling is essential to give our final customers and our distributors a real choice based on true facts.
"The tests conducted by ATLETE showed that there is a need for more stringent surveillance on the products that are introduced on the market, to better protect consumers and to ensure fair competition. The fact that our products passed the tests in all five categories reflects Whirlpool's attention to sustainability issues and its respect toward consumers."
The ATLETE project was born in 2009 with the intent of monitoring the correct implementation of energy labelling on products sold within the European Union. Together with CECED, four other institutional partners were involved in the project; France's ADEME, Italy's ENEA and ISIS, and Czech Republic's SEVEn.
The final results were presented by ATLETE in the course of a conference held in Brussels during the European Union's Sustainable Energy Week last week. The cost of the project was one million Euros, 75% of which was sustained by European Commission's "Intelligent Energy Europe" programme.
21st April 2011