Guidance

Regulations: energy information

Guidance for suppliers and dealers.

From 1 January 2021, there are some differences in the rules for placing energy-related products on the market in Great Britain (England, Scotland and Wales) and placing energy-related products on the market in Northern Ireland. Those differences are explained on this page. You can also:

Find out about placing manufactured goods on the market in Great Britain.

Find out about placing manufactured goods on the market in Northern Ireland.

Find out about placing manufactured goods on the market in the EU.

From 1 March 2021, certain energy-related products must have a re-scaled energy label displayed alongside them at the point of sale.

This change applies across the whole of the UK. The new requirements for suppliers and dealers are explained on this page.

From 1 October 2021, lighting products will also have a re-scaled energy label on their packaging, showing an A-G scale.

This change will apply across the whole of the UK. The new requirements for suppliers and dealers are explained on this page.

To find out more information about energy labelling, the changes and how they may affect you, please visit the following websites:

  • Energy Saving Trust – Energy Saving Trust is an independent organisation working to address the climate emergency. A respected and trusted voice on energy efficiency and clean energy solutions, it continues to work towards a smart, decarbonised, decentralised energy system.
  • Label2020 – The Label 2020 project is organised to help smooth the market transition towards the new energy labels. The Label 2020 project started in June 2019 and will last until January 2023. The website provides specific, relevant information for suppliers and dealers.
  • Simple Energy Advice – The Simple Energy Advice website has advice on ways to save energy, ranging from how you heat your home to how to use products efficiently.

Overview

Many types of energy-related products are regulated to ensure that clear and consistent information on their energy usage is readily available. This helps consumers make informed purchasing decisions and encourages competition between manufacturers in relation to improving energy efficiency.

All products in scope must:

  • be supplied with an accurate printed energy label
  • display an energy label at the point of sale if in a shop or on a website
  • have a reference to the energy efficiency class in visual advertisements
  • be accompanied by a product information sheet (also known as a product fiche): a table of information giving specified performance data
  • be supported by technical documentation allowing the accuracy of the label and fiche to be assessed

In Great Britain and Northern Ireland, the Energy Information Regulations 2011 (as amended) are the underpinning legislation. However, there are differences in how they apply in Great Britain and Northern Ireland, as explained below.

What is covered

The regulations cover the following energy-related products:

  • air conditioners
  • dishwashers
  • fridges and freezers
  • light sources
  • local space heaters
  • ovens
  • range hoods
  • refrigerated storage cabinets for professional use
  • refrigeration with a direct sales function
  • solid fuel boilers
  • space heaters
  • televisions and electronic displays
  • tumble dryers
  • ventilation units
  • washing machines and washer-dryers
  • water heaters

(Products in scope may also be subject to the Ecodesign regulations.)

They do not apply to:

  • second-hand products
  • means of transport

Extent of obligation

The supplier (manufacturer, authorised representative or importer) that first places a regulated product on the Great Britain (GB) or Northern Ireland (NI) market, or puts it into service, is responsible for its compliance. This extends to any means of online selling, distance selling, hire and hire purchase.

The dealer (retailer) also has obligations and is required to clearly display an energy label when selling products. This includes in store and via distance selling methods such as internet sales and catalogues.

How to comply

Suppliers must produce energy labels and fiches in accordance with the regulations, and the supporting technical documentation, allowing their accuracy to be assessed.

They must also:

  • provide labels to dealers promptly and for free
  • include the product information sheet (also known as a product fiche) with each product
  • make the technical documentation available to OPSS if requested and retain it for 15 years after the manufacturing of the product has stopped

Energy labels for certain products are being gradually re-scaled to display A – G energy rating classes instead of A+++ – G energy rating classes. The first phase of re-scaling took place in March 2021.

The new re-scaled energy label will be introduced for light sources from 1 October 2021. For light sources which will be placed on the market from 1 October 2021, suppliers will be required to print rescaled labels on to the packaging. For light sources placed on the market before 1 October 2021, upon request by dealers, suppliers must provide rescaled energy labels which are intended to replace existing labels to dealers. For existing printed labels this would be in the form of a printed sticker of a size which permits it to cover existing labels.

No label, mark, symbol, or inscription can be shown that could mislead consumers about the energy efficiency of a product.

For all energy labels, dealers must display the labels so that they are clearly visible, attaching them to the product where appropriate, and make the fiche available to consumers. For any means of distance selling, the information on the label and fiche must be provided to consumers before they buy the product.

New rules for dealers from 1 March 2021 (and 1 October 2021 for light sources)

There are new requirements on dealers when it comes to displaying the new, re-scaled energy labels for certain products. The products affected by these changes are:

  • TVs and electronic displays
  • dishwashers
  • washer-dryers
  • washing machines
  • refrigerators and freezers
  • wine storage refrigerators
  • light sources (1 October 2021)

Dealers had until 18 March 2021 to replace old labels on display with rescaled labels for these products except light sources.

For light sources placed on the market before 1 October 2021 which bear the old energy label, dealers have until 1 April 2023 to replace the old labels on display with rescaled labels in such a way as to cover the existing label, including when the label is printed on or attached to the packaging. For this purpose, dealers can request rescaled labels from suppliers in the form of a printed sticker.

Further requirements:

  • If, at the point of sale, a product model is only displayed in the packaging (not taken out of the packaging for display) the dealer must ensure visibility of the label for the consumer.

  • In visual advertisements, technical promotional material and distance selling (see below for internet selling):
    • the full energy label does not have to be displayed alongside the product, but an arrow with the energy efficiency class and the range of energy efficiency classes must be provided
    • the dealer must provide a copy of the label or the product information sheet on a publicly accessible website and must provide paper copies on request
  • In the case of internet selling:
    • an arrow with the energy efficiency class and the range of energy efficiency classes 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

In Summer 2021, energy labelling will be introduced for refrigeration products with a direct sales function.

From September 2021, lighting products must bear the re-scaled energy label at the point of sale.

Requirements for all energy labels

  • Suppliers must provide the energy efficiency class alongside any advertisement or technical promotion.

The energy label is common across the UK, with variations according to GB or NI placement on market, and must include:

  • the model number of the product and the suppliers name or trademark
  • the amount of energy it uses according to the product specific regulations
  • specific data in accordance with the applicable product regulation, in pictogram format
  • its energy efficiency class, from best to worst, depending on the relevant scale for the product, with corresponding colour-coded arrows

From 1 January 2021 the energy label, for products placed on the GB market, must also include:

  • the UK Flag
  • English language text
  • a QR code, where applicable, which must link to the required product information on a publicly accessible website

GB energy labels can be accessed using the Create an energy label service. To help you comply with the regulations there is a UK Energy Label Generator. This covers all the products listed under the ‘What is Covered’ section.

From 1 January 2021, the energy label, for products placed on the NI market, must include:

  • the EU flag
  • a QR code where applicable, which must link to the required product information on the EPREL database.

Suppliers placing products on the NI market can create their own energy labels using the EPREL database.

The role of the Office for Product Safety and Standards (OPSS)

OPSS is the appointed Market Surveillance Authority in Great Britain and Northern Ireland for suppliers.

Local authorities are responsible for enforcing the regulations in relation to dealers.

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) is responsible for enforcing the marketing of products with energy efficiency information.

Where to find out more

If placing products on the market or making products available on the market in Great Britain:

This gives guidance for dealers:

Guidance on how to describe a product’s energy efficiency class (ASA)

If placing products on the market or making products available on the market in Northern Ireland:

Contact us

If you have a specific enquiry about compliance or wish to contact us regarding suspected non-compliance we recommend that you complete the online enquiry form, choose the relevant legislation and follow the on screen instructions.

Alternatively you can contact our helpdesk on 0121 345 1201.

Or in writing to:

Office for Product Safety and Standards
4th Floor Cannon House
18 The Priory Queensway
Birmingham
B4 6BS
United Kingdom

Subscribe to our free email alert service to keep up to date on the latest developments concerning the legislation that OPSS enforces.

Published 10 April 2014
Last updated 7 July 2021 + show all updates
  1. Updated to clarify the obligations of suppliers and dealers in relation to the extension of the regulations to light sources on 1 October 2021.

  2. Updated to clarify the requirement across the whole of the UK from 1 March 2021 for certain energy-related products to have a re-scaled energy label displayed alongside them at the point of sale.

  3. Updated at the end of the transition period to reflect amendments to the regulations and the different rules for placing energy-related products on the market in Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

  4. EU Exit Update.

  5. Page content revised.

  6. First published.