A vote has taken place in the European Parliament’s Industry, Research and Energy committee in Brussels on Tuesday on clearer energy efficiency labelling for household appliances which aims to give consumers better access to product information.

MEPs had wanted the current grading system of proliferating pluses to be replaced by a simpler A-G tier. Right now, Grade A ranks only fourth in energy efficiency behind A+, A++ and A+++ and it is hoped that consumers will no longer mistake A for being top of the scale.

The proposals also aim to increase transparency for consumers when it comes to accessibility on product information as well as clearer information such as consumption in kWh on the label.

Although some of the original proposals were ultimately watered down to accommodate other Committee members, the report gained enough support and will now head to the upcoming plenary session for a vote on a mandate for commencing talks with the Council of Members.

Commenting on the vote, GUE/NGL MEP Neoklis Sylikiotis said the proposals are very important in protecting consumer rights and has long called for an immediate rescaling of the ranking system,

“It is crucial that we do everything we can to remove all the pluses from Grade A which have been very confusing for the consumers.”

”In GUE/NGL, we wanted the rescaling to be done as soon as possible and without any exception. Unfortunately, the majority of the political groups disagreed and instead favoured introducing the new labels within 5 years. In addition, some products would be exempt from these rules as well,” said the Cypriot MEP.

“In the end, we voted in favour of the report since most of the reforms that are being promoted enhance the rights of the consumers and energy efficiency.”

“Equally important is the creation of a database whereby consumers can find useful information about the products for free. We voted in favour of the report and also in favour of the mandate so that the rapporteur can participate in the trilogues as soon as possible. So all is not lost,” Sylikiotis concluded.

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