20 July, Brussels - The European Commission has postponed an expected vote on its energy labelling package, delaying roll-out of the scheme, which was agreed last year by the European institutions.
In 2017 the institutions agreed to maintain the energy labelling system and revert to an A to G scale, as the current A+++ to G scale was considered confusing for customers. A timeline was established for the first products – fridges, washing machines, dishwashers, lighting products and TVs – to be rated by November 2018, requiring a vote by October.
However, the Commission has now pushed back the vote until January, with blame being directed at senior figures within the Commission. The energy labelling package and eco-design directive have been continually delayed since 2014. Some environmental commentators believing that legislators are afraid of populist backlash – the regulation of power devices has been a frequent target of Eurosceptic campaigners who believe it to demonstrate an over-regulated and bureaucratic economy.
It is feared that with the vote pushed back to next year, it may not take place before the European Parliament elections, delaying implementation further until 2020.
Click for more on the energy labelling framework.