Last reviewed 23 November 2020

The Government is consulting on proposed changes to ecodesign and energy labelling rules when the UK leaves the EU at the end of December.

From 1 January 2021, energy labelling will be changing in England, Wales and Scotland. Products newly placed on the market from this date will require a UK energy label. Northern Ireland will continue to follow EU ecodesign and energy labelling rules, due to the post-Brexit Protocol.

Energy-related products are goods such as washing machines, lighting equipment and televisions, which have an impact on energy consumption when in use or in standby mode.

Approximately 55% of total (non-transport) energy use in the UK is linked to energy-related products with lighting, alongside gas boilers, electric motors and water pumps, accounting for a large proportion of this.

Ecodesign and energy labelling policies aim to reduce carbon emissions; lower consumer energy bills; make products more energy and resource efficient; and drive product innovation. According to government data, these policies are expected to save 8 MtCO2e this year alone, with savings for consumers of around £100.

The two policies currently regulated under EU rules include the following.

  • Ecodesign — aims to phase out the least efficient energy-related products from the market through minimum energy performance requirements.

  • Energy labelling — aims to drive the uptake of the most energy efficient products on the market by providing consumers with information on the energy performance of the products they are buying.

Ecodesign requirements on resource efficiency also extends across the product’s lifecycle, including material consumption, emissions, pollution and waste generation, as well as durability, repairability, recyclability and ease of material recovery.

Data released by BEIS suggests the government’s proposed lighting regulations, if adopted, will save 21.9 TWh of electricity by 2050, which is the equivalent of up to a £0.6 billion reduction on household energy bills and savings in carbon emissions of around 2.6 MtCO2.

The latest consultation on Ecodesign and Energy Labelling Regulations (Lighting Sources) 2021 is available here, with information for manufacturers, importers, consumer groups, environmental organisations and others.