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MEPs need to “get a grip” on energy product labelling – MEP Kelly

Published: Tue, 15 March 2016

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Seán Kelly MEP (Ireland South) has called on MEPs to “get a grip” in relation new EU proposals for the labelling of energy products, which will benefit both consumers and the industry.

Speaking in the European Parliament in Brussels today (Tuesday), the Fine Gael MEP voiced his frustration at the reluctance of a number of national delegations to support the creation of a product database aimed at making market surveillance more effective.

“The European Commission has proposed the creation of a large product database which would provide consumers with greater information on the energy efficiency performance of all the products and appliances on the market in one place, enabling better purchasing decisions from consumers – this can only be a good thing,” said MEP Kelly, a prominent member of the European Parliament’s Committee on Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE).

MEP Kelly, who represented the European Parliament at the historic Paris Climate Change Conference (COP21) in December, also highlighted the opportunity that an energy efficiency product database brings in terms of concrete action towards a low carbon economy.

“Energy labelling enables consumers to get accurate and comparable information on the energy efficiency of different products. Not only will these measures bring significant environmental benefits and empower the consumer to join the fight against climate change, it also helps consumers choose to use less energy, saving on their bills,” he said.

“I hear numerous arguments in Parliament, even from within my own group, saying the establishment of this database could create undue burdens on companies – rubbish! The information that would be required for the database is what companies already have to provide to national market surveillance authorities on request anyway.”

“Additionally, it would even benefit manufacturers as they would not need to put this information on their own websites or elsewhere – it would all go to one central database.”

The Commission’s proposal on product energy labelling also proposes a return to the “A-G” scale for labels, removing the arguably more confusing A+, A++ and A+++ categories that are currently found on products. Kelly welcomed this change as a logical step.

“A move back to the much simpler A-G scale is a positive move and brings simplicity back to the system. I’m sure this will also be welcomed by the general consumer as it is far more understandable and allows people to shop with the confidence that they are buying a high quality product that won’t cost them on their electricity bill in the long run.

“It’s about time that certain delegations got a grip and looked at the bigger picture. This database encourages an active consumer and would push companies to compete to be the best in terms of energy efficiency. I hope that common sense will prevail,” he concluded.

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