In the guide

Although the United Kingdom has left the European Union (EU), certain pieces of legislation (formally known as 'retained EU law') will still apply until such time as they are replaced by new UK legislation; this means that you will still see references to EU regulations in our guidance.

This guidance is for England, Scotland and Wales

The Energy Information Regulations 2011 and Regulation (EU) 2017/1369 setting a framework for energy labelling apply to energy-related products that have a significant direct or indirect impact on the consumption of energy.

If you sell certain new electrical goods to end users you must clearly display an energy efficiency label on the appliance and make a product information sheet available in the product brochure or any literature that accompanies the product.

The Regulations also apply to hire or hire purchase, as well as displays to end users (directly or indirectly) by any means of distance selling, including the internet. However, it is the responsibility of your supplier* to supply the energy efficiency label and the product information sheet.

[*The 'supplier' is the manufacturer, their authorised representative in the UK, or the person who places the product on the market.]

An example label

Energy label: wash

The label conveys information on the energy efficiency of a particular model through colours, arrows and the alphabet. The A-G scale ranks appliances from the best (A) to the worst (G), while a corresponding colour code uses green to denote 'more efficient' and red for 'less efficient'. For certain appliances the existing energy efficiency rating category of A is divided into three extra categories (A+, A++ and A+++) where A+++ indicates 'more efficient'.

The example above is a new label, which doesn't include the '+' ratings; for more information see 'Re-scaling of labels' below.

The label is divided into four zones, which must include:

  • the data referring to the manufacturer and the model of the appliance
  • the appliance's energy efficiency class, in A-G with corresponding colour-coded arrows. Certain appliances may be rated up to A+++, or only as low as D
  • relevant specific data according to each type of appliance - for example, size, capacity, annual water consumption, noise emissions, spin-drying efficiency, etc. This is displayed in pictogram format and will differ depending on what type of appliance it is
  • the amount of energy the product uses in a year calculated in kWh/annum
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Which products are required to have labels?

  • household tumble dryers
  • household washing machines
  • household combined washer dryers
  • household lamps
  • household dishwashers
  • household refrigerators and freezers and their combinations
  • air conditioners
  • televisions and electronic displays
  • electrical lamps and luminaires
  • vacuum cleaners
  • domestic ovens and range hoods
  • water heaters and hot water storage tanks; space heaters and combination heaters
  • professional refrigerated storage units
  • solid fuel boilers and packages of a solid fuel boiler, supplementary heaters, temperature controls and solar devices
  • local space heaters
  • ventilation units
  • refrigeration appliances with a direct sales function - for example, in-store chiller cabinets from which consumers can choose products they wish to buy

These Regulations do not apply to:

  • second-hand products (unless it is the first time they are placed on the market within the UK; in other words, when they were new they were sold outside of the UK)
  • any means of transport for persons or goods
  • the rating plate (or its equivalent) affixed to products for safety purposes
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Re-scaling of labels

As technology has advanced, manufacturers have been able to develop more energy efficient products, which has led to the original A-G scale being expanded with the addition of the A+, A++ and A+++ ratings. In 2006 around two thirds of washing machines were rated A; by 2017 over 90% were rated higher than an A, with lower categories rarely being used. In order to address this and ensure consumers are provided with clearer information, there will be a re-scaling of rating information for certain types of products. The scale will revert to A-G with the removal of the above A ratings. Appliances currently rated A+++ will change to a B rating, leaving the new A classification empty initially to allow for technological advances.

From 1 March 2021:

  • washing machines
  • dishwashers
  • electronic displays
  • refrigerators

From 1 October 2021:

  • light sources (lamps and luminaires)

For light sources placed on the market before 1 October 2021 that bear the old energy label, dealers have until 1 April 2023 to replace the old labels with rescaled labels to cover the existing label; this includes when the label is printed on or attached to the packaging. Rescaled labels can be requested from suppliers in the form of a printed sticker.

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Product information sheet

The energy label has to be supported by a product information sheet providing data relating to the particular model of appliance. This product information has to be contained in all product brochures and, if brochures are not provided, in all other product literature supplied with the product.

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Where do I need to display this information?

It must be displayed on all relevant products offered for sale, hire or hire purchase. In the case of any means of distance selling, including the internet, energy efficiency information that would otherwise be contained on the label must be displayed to end users, either directly or indirectly, before they buy the product.

The physical label must be attached by the dealer (the retailer) on the outside front or top of the product, which remains clearly visible. The label must be a standard size, be in colour and on a white background.

Furthermore, where reference is made to the energy efficiency or a price of a relevant specific model of appliance in an advertisement, the energy efficiency class of that model must be provided.

Supplementary documents, such as brochures or technical manuals will also require information about a specific model's energy efficiency class or energy consumption figures if they provide information to end users about the technical parameters of that product.

You may also wish to include electronic versions of the energy label to consumers; this can be done in addition to (not instead of) a label in paper form.

Manufacturers and suppliers must make an electronic version of the technical file for the product available within 10 days of a request from enforcement authorities.

If you are selling a product online, an arrow with the energy efficiency class and the range of energy efficiency classes ('nested display pictures') must be provided alongside the product, and this must link to the full energy label for the product. The dealer must make the product information sheet available alongside the product or by linking to it on a publicly accessible website.

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Where can I get the energy labels and product information sheet from?

It is the responsibility of the supplier to supply the energy labels and product information sheet free of charge to dealers. There is a requirement for them to provide the labels promptly, so ordinarily they would come with each appliance. Therefore if they have not or you need another one, for any reason, then your supplier should be able to provide the correct one for the model in question, and should do this within five working days of your request.

Although the responsibility for implementing the labelling falls with the suppliers, it is the responsibility of the dealer to make sure the label is fixed to the appliance and the product information is available for consumers to see.

You can create an energy label on the GOV.UK website, or use the new energy label API to create energy labels directly from your product information management system.

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Misleading information

You are not allowed to display any label, mark, symbol or inscription that, if displayed, is likely to mislead or confuse end users with respect to the consumption of energy (or other essential resources where relevant) during use. It is an offence to issue or provide false documentation with respect to energy rating under the Energy Information Regulations 2011 and the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008.

Guidance on describing energy labelling in advertisements has been produced by the Advertising Standards Authority.

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Trading standards

For more information on the work of trading standards services - and the possible consequences of not abiding by the law - please see 'Trading standards: powers, enforcement and penalties'.

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In this update

Links added to ASA guidance and the new energy label API.

Last reviewed / updated: December 2022

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Key legislation

Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008

Ecodesign for Energy-Related Products Regulations 2010

Energy Information Regulations 2011

Regulation (EU) 2017/1369 setting a framework for energy labelling

Ecodesign for Energy-Related Products and Energy Information (Amendment) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019

Ecodesign for Energy-Related Products and Energy Information (Amendment) (EU Exit) Regulations 2020

Ecodesign for Energy-Related Products and Energy Information Regulations 2021

Ecodesign for Energy-Related Products and Energy Information (Lighting Products) Regulations 2021

Please note

This information is intended for guidance; only the courts can give an authoritative interpretation of the law.

The guide's 'Key legislation' links often only shows the original version of the legislation, although some amending legislation is linked to separately where it is directly related to the content of a guide. Information on changes to legislation can be found by following the above links and clicking on the 'More Resources' tab.

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Consumer enquiries from England, Scotland and Wales are handled by the Citizens Advice Consumer Service who can be contacted by telephone on 03454 04 05 06. Consumer enquiries in Northern Ireland are handled by ConsumerLine who can be contacted by telephone on 0300 1236262. Call charges may vary.

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