On the 1st March 2021 the EU energy ratings you are familiar with for household appliances were replaced with a new ratings scale in the UK.

At first the change will only affect washing machines, washer-dryers, dishwashers, refrigerators, lighting and TVs, with tumble-dryers, ovens and other appliances remaining the same for the time being. 

Now you might be thinking, what does this mean for me? What has changed? This advice post will hopefully answer all your questions.

The old EU appliance energy ratings

Appliance energy ratings were first introduced in 1992 to show consumers how energy efficient they were. The appliances were rated from A to G, with A rated appliances being the most energy efficient. 

Why have the ratings changed?

As time went on, manufacturers stopped making products with lower energy ratings, and most new appliances were rated B grade or higher. To compensate for this, the EU brought in A+, A++, A+++ and A++++ ratings. This can be confusing to consumers, which is why the UK is changing this.

Room for improvement

Previously, most appliances had a B to A++++ rating, which left no room for improvement. Now the UK has recalibrated the energy ratings. Appliances previously rated a B on the EU energy rating scale, have now been reduced to an F grade.

Recalibration

Reverting to the simple A to G rating scale should avoid confusion with the + ratings, making things simpler for consumers to understand. It should also give manufacturers the impetus to improve the energy efficiency of their products even further.

kitchen island with under counter appliances with new energy ratings

The “right to repair” law

In addition, new UK legislation will be brought in during the summer of 2021, making it mandatory for manufacturers to provide spare parts for appliances to consumers. This ‘right to repair’ law is estimated to reduce the 1.5 million tonnes of electrical waste generated in the UK each year. The law will also contribute to reducing carbon emissions overall. 

It is estimated that this new legislation will increase the lifespan of many household appliances by up to 10 years. This change will also save consumers an average of £75 per year. 

A longer lasting product is a more sustainable one. This new law is a great step forward in the UK’s journey to becoming more sustainable. Read more about the right to repair legislation on the BBC News website.

The new UK energy ratings are now in force, so we hope you are now more informed about them. If you have any questions please get in touch – we are happy to help. For more helpful advice on planning your new kitchen visit our Advice Centre.

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