Energy class of household appliances and energy saving

The energy class of household appliances (also known as the energy efficiency class or energy consumption class) is closely linked to energy saving, since the real consumption in kWh of household appliances and, consequently, the costs that we will face in the bill.

The choice of modern appliances, with a high energy class, allows us to reduce energy consumption and therefore save money.

The new energy labels for household appliances

In 1994 the concept of energy class was introduced, so as to be able to compare the consumption of appliances that perform the same functions, but can have different consumptions.

In 1998 it became mandatory to affix the label indicating the energy class to each appliance. Initially we found it only on refrigerators and freezers, then also on washing machines, dishwashers, lamps, air conditioners and, finally, from 2010 also on televisions. Today it is found on most electronic appliances (lamps and light bulbs; heating appliances; refrigerators and freezers; washing machines and dryers; air conditioners and fans; electronic displays, including televisions; kitchen appliances; tires).

The energy classes are expressed in letters, from A to G, and through a color scale from green to red.

From 1 March 2021 the EU has decided to replace the energy label of washing machines, washer dryers, refrigerators, dishwashers, TVs, monitors and light bulbs to make it more functional and understandable. In the new label, the A +, A ++ and A +++ classes have been eliminated for which the energy classes have been reparametered. Furthermore, the energy consumption is specific for each product group:

  • washing machines, dishwashers and washer-dryers for 100 washing cycles,
  • refrigerators for one year of use,
  • screens and light bulbs for a thousand hours of ignition.

In the new energy label it is also possible to scan a QR code to obtain further information.
To facilitate this transition and raise awareness among citizens, the European Community has launched the project BELT (Boost Energy Label Take up) on the site of which there is a calculator that allows you to know how much the purchase of a household appliance of a certain energy class can save in terms of consumption, electricity and CO2 emissions.

Below we will analyze the difference in consumption of refrigerators, ovens and dishwashers according to the energy class of reference. From the data it will be easy to deduce that an appliance of the highest energy class available consumes at least half of one in the lowest energy class, guaranteeing us considerable savings in the bill.

Refrigerator energy class in 2022

The new energy label for refrigerators and freezers shows us the energy efficiency class and energy consumption, in kWh/year. Furthermore, we find further indications expressed by means of pictograms: capacity in liters of the compartments and the noise expressed in decibels.

If we take a classic free-standing freezer with automatic defrost, 300 liters (200 for fresh food and 100 for frozen food) we can see the big difference in terms of annual consumption between a class A and a class G appliance:

  • Class A: equal to or less than 100 kWh/year
  • Class B: from 101 to 124 kWh/year
  • Class C: from 125 to 155 kWh/year
  • Class D: from 156 to 194 kWh/year
  • Class E: from 195 to 243 kWh/year
  • Class F: from 244 to 303 kWh/year
  • Class G: higher than 303 kWh/year

By multiplying the kWh/year by the cost of energy, we will also find out how much economic savings a class A refrigerator guarantees us compared to a class G one.

Dishwasher energy class in 2022

For dishwashers, the energy label is mandatory for all household appliances placed on the market from 1 March 2021. The label indicates the energy class and consumption of the eco program for 100 cycles, expressed in kWh.

Further specifications are also provided regarding the nominal capacity, in number of standard covers, for the eco program; the water consumption of the eco program, in liters per cycle; the duration of the eco program; the noise emitted, in decibels, and the corresponding noise emission class.

Taking as an example a free-standing appliance for 12 place settings, the consumptions are as follows according to the energy class:

  • Class A: equal to or less than 34 kWh/100 cycles
  • Class B: from 34 to 40 kWh/100 cycles
  • Class C: from 41 to 46 kWh/100 cycles
  • Class D: from 47 to 53 kWh/100 cycles
  • Class E: from 54 to 59 kWh/100 cycles
  • Class F: from 60 to 65 kWh/100 cycles
  • Class G: higher than 65 kWh/100 cycles

Energy class ovens in 2022

For domestic ovens the old label is still in force, with classes ranging from A +++ to D. Here too, in addition to the energy class, the consumption of electricity for the heating function (convection and, if available, ventilated), in kWh/cycle. A standard cycle is measured by heating a standard water-soaked load, in static or ventilated mode, if available.

Taking a 100-liter electric oven as an example, consumption is as follows according to the energy class:

  • Class A +++: equal to or less than 0.47 kWh/cycle
  • Class A ++: from 0.437 to 0.601 kWh/cycle
  • Class A +: from 0.602 to 0.705 kWh/cycle
  • Class A: from 0.706 to 1.038 kWh/cycle
  • Class B: from 1.039 to 1.208 kWh/cycle
  • Class C: from 1.281 to 1.541 kWh/cycle
  • Class D: greater than/equal to 1,543 kWh/cycle