Understanding energy and tyre labels can help you save money and lower your energy consumption. Learn more about labelling information and how it can inform your purchasing decision.

Energy labels

The EU Energy Label provides information about the energy efficiency of a product and how much energy it consumes under normal operating conditions. This can help you to make a well-informed decision when buying new products or appliances. In turn, you can lower your energy bills and to reduce your impact on the environment.

Manufacturers and retailers are legally required to provide and display the energy label on products covered by the EU Energy Labelling Regulations.

Learn more about current regulations

How to read energy labels

EU energy labels contain useful information to help guide your purchasing decision. Learn more about the different parts of an energy label below.

Energy scales

The scale on an energy label typically runs from A (dark green) to G (red). ‘A’ rated products are the most energy efficient, and ‘G’ are the least.

Some product types including ovens and heat pumps use ‘old’ style labels which have a scale that extends to A+++ in some instances. These labels are gradually being phased out by the European Commission. Common examples include:

  • ovens, tumble dryers, heat pumps (A+++ to D)
  • solid fuel stove (A++ to G)
  • showers (A+ to F)

Examples of energy labels

Exmples of energy labels

Energy consumption

Information about a product's energy consumption can be found just below the A to G scale. This information is important because it tells you how much energy the labelled product is expected to use. Energy consumption can either be expressed per annum or per 100 cycles, depending on the product category.

Energy consumption is expressed in kilowatts per hour (KWh). To calculate a product's running cost, you can multiply the given KWh by the cost of your electricity (currently about €0.40 per KWh). This will give you the product's running costs per annum or per 100 cycles.

For example, if a product uses 464 KWh per annum as in the above example, the calculation would be:

464 x €0.40c = €185.60 per annum

Sometimes, energy efficient appliances can be more expensive to purchase than less energy efficient appliances. However, the savings from an energy efficient product's lower running costs may cost you less over time.

When it comes to energy consumption, the size of a product should be considered. For example, an energy efficient, large appliance (e.g. an American style fridge-freezer) could have a better energy efficiency class than a less energy efficient, small fridge-freezer, but still use more energy per annum. It’s important to carefully consider whether you need the larger appliance and pay attention to the energy consumption figure provided.

QR Code

The QR code on the energy label gives access to more product information through the European Product Registry for Energy Labelling (EPREL). Scan the code to access more product details.

Other useful information

Energy labels contain additional information that can influence your purchasing decision. This includes details like the number of place settings (dishwasher), washing performance (washing machines) and noise (kitchen appliances).

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EU energy labels were rescaled in 2021

Comparing energy labels

Learning how to compare energy labels is important when choosing a new product. The example below compares energy labels for two different freezers. The freezers' energy consumption is compared using the Kilowatts per hour (KWh) information found on the labels.

Tyre Labelling

Tyres account for 20% to 30% of a vehicle’s fuel consumption. Choosing energy efficient tyres can result in significant fuel cost savings. Tyre labels are used to help consumers understand which tyres are more efficient and can save energy without compromising on safety.

Tyre labels provide information on three key characteristics:

Fuel efficiency

The fuel efficiency of a tyre is dependent on the tyre’s rolling resistance. Tyres are rated between A and E. A is the most efficient tyre and will use the least fuel, while E is the least efficient tyre and will use the most fuel.

Wet grip

The Wet Grip rating will tell you how well the tyres perform in wet conditions on a scale of A to E. A is the safest, while E is the worst performing tyre.

Noise levels

A tyre’s noise level is measured in decibels (dB) using a three wave scale. Each label also has space for the manufacturer’s details, including the trade name, tyre line, tyre dimensions, load index and speed rating.

Changes to tyre labels

Tyre labels apply to the following vehicle types:

  • C1: passenger cars
  • C2: vans and light trucks
  • C3: heavy trucks

Previously, no label was required for C3 tyres. More changes to labels are expected in the future including additional details that will help consumers select the safest and most efficient tyres.

Image of an example of a tyre label

Maintaining fuel efficiency

Maintenance

Service your car regularly

This can help to optimise engine efficiency and reduce fuel consumption.

Check your tyre pressure

Check your tyre pressure at least once a month and before long journeys. Under-inflated tyres will increase your fuel consumption and are more prone to a blowout.

Before your journey

Plan your journey

Plan your journey and leave enough time – getting lost increases journey length and not leaving enough time for your journey encourages speeding. Both lead to increased fuel consumption.

Save weight

Unnecessary extra weight means extra fuel consumption. If you don’t need it, don’t bring it.

Minimise drag

Roof racks and boxes increase drag – if you don’t need them at the moment, take them off to increase fuel economy.

Walk or cycle instead

If you are only taking a short journey, consider walking or cycling.

During your journey

Drive smoothly

Driving at a moderate speed and keeping your eye on the road ahead helps to reduce unnecessary braking and acceleration, both of which increase the amount of fuel you use.

Slow down

Your fuel costs increase the faster you drive, so keep speeds reasonable.

Switch off your engine

Many newer cars automatically turn off when stationary in neutral. If yours doesn’t, turn off your engine when you’ve stopped to save fuel.

Higher gear

Driving at lower revs reduces fuel consumption so change up a gear at around 2,000 RPM.

Windows vs. air conditioning

If you are travelling at lower speed, opening the windows is more fuel efficient. If travelling at 60 mph or above, closing the windows and using the air con will save you more.

The role of ecodesign

The EU Ecodesign Directive covers more than 30 energy related product groups and sets a range of requirements to make them more sustainable over their lifecycle. It includes minimum requirements for energy efficiency, and rules relating to repairability.

Compliance with ecodesign is enforced by SEAI which is the 'Market Surveillance Authority' in that regard.
Through ecodesign, manufacturers of certain household appliances are required to ensure that spare parts are available to professional repairers for at least ten years after the product line has finished. They are also required to provide other useful information to professional repairers to facilitate the repair of appliances. Appliances currently covered include:
  • Refrigerating appliances (fridge-freezers, etc)
  • Washing machines and washer dryers
  • Dishwashers

Notice: If your appliance breaks down, make sure you consider getting it repaired before rushing out to buy a new appliance.

Modernising and repairing products

In addition to changes in EU energy labelling guidelines, a number of ecodesign rules were also updated. This includes a requirement for manufacturers to keep spare parts available for a number of years after products are no longer on the market.

If you need a spare parts you can find information on authorised repair services and spare parts on the product manufacturer's website.