Energy classes and new criteria: here’s what’s changing for household appliances

Usually summer (when it occurs) is the period in which purchases of household appliances such as air conditioners and home cooling devices increase, but also of refrigerators which, after years of honorable service, …

Energy classes and new criteria: here's what's changing for household appliances

Usually summer (when it occurs) is the period in which purchases of household appliances such as air conditioners and home cooling devices increase, but also of refrigerators which, after years of honorable service, begin to fail, reducing their capacity. It is therefore appropriate, when faced with the need for a new purchase and with a view to optimizing consumption and protecting the environment, to remember the energy classes and their characteristics, taking into account the changes introduced starting from 2021, but also the updates and novelty expected between now and 2025. Let’s see which ones.

The importance of the energy class

An essential aspect when choosing a household appliance is the energy ratingwhich indicates theefficiency, i.e. energy consumption versus performance. Appliances with a higher energy class consume less energy, with beneficial effects both for the environment and on the bill. From 2021, the energy rating scale in Europe has been rendered simpler and more understandable for consumers. The old A+, A++ and A+++ classes have been eliminated, and a new scale introduced, which goes from A to G, with A representing the maximum energy efficiency and G the minimum efficiency. Here are the main features:

  • Class A: it is the most efficient, characterized by very low energy consumption. Home appliances in this class are currently the most technologically advanced and represent the best choice for energy saving and environmental protection. Identifying colour, dark green.
  • Class B: indicates very high efficiency, with lower energy consumption than lower classes. Appliances in this class represent an excellent choice for those who want a good compromise between efficiency and savings. Identifying colour, bright green.
  • Class C: represents average efficiency, with low energy consumption, and includes the majority of household appliances on the market. Identifying colour, light green.
  • Class D: characterized by lower efficiency than the previous ones, with higher energy consumption on average. Appliances in this class may not be the most suitable solution for those who want maximum energy savings. Identification colour, yellow.
  • Class E: indicates low efficiency, with energy consumption significantly higher than the previous classes. Not very suitable if you want to reduce consumption and environmental impact. Identifying colour, light orange.
  • F class: indicates very high energy consumption. Identification color, dark orange.
  • G-Class: the least efficient, characterized by the highest energy consumption. Identification colour, red.

What you need to choose the right product

To choose an efficient appliance it is important to consider, in addition to the energy class, other factors such as own needs (size and functions of the appliance suited to your needs), the technologies used (models with innovative technologies can offer superior energy efficiency), i actual consumption (the energy label shows the annual energy consumption, which may vary based on use). Precisely to meet new needs, the new energy label, in addition to the class, includes more detailed information such as annual energy consumption (kWh/year), noise, capacity or dimensions of the appliance, further specific data for each type of appliance, together with any special functions such as the type of engine, eco programs, etc., a QR codescannable to obtain additional product details.

Mandatory for all household appliances, this label must be clearly displayed clearly visible and legible, also on e-commerce products. Initially intended only for freezers and refrigerators, over time its use has extended to become mandatory for all household appliances, from dryers to vacuum cleaners, from air conditioners and air conditioners to light bulbs, refrigerators, washing machines, televisions.

The new energy labels are part of a package of broader measures which include eco-design requirements, aimed at counteracting theplanned obsolescence and to improve the reparability and recyclability of products. The criteria for classifying household appliances have been made more stringent, so that only truly efficient products get the best ratings, also to stimulate innovation and continuous improvement of products.

On its website theAeneas provides ( a brochure which clarifies the meaning of the new labels and the information necessary to decode and understand the symbols and numbers present on the labels themselves, allowing comparison of performance between different models of the same product and between different types of products.

Updated criteria and passing of classes F and G

Continuing the work started in 2021, in 2024 the following were updated the criteria for calculating the energy classes of various household appliances. These changes introduced a new reclassification of the devices, with more rigid parameters, especially to obtain the higher classes (A and B). Let’s make a brief summary of the most important changes

Washing machines and washer-dryers: evaluation based not only on consumption per kg but also on consumption per cycle, maximum Iee value (which stands for Energy Efficiency Index) for class A reduced by 10%, more stringent requirements for intermediate classes (BE).

Dishwasher: addition of water consumption among the parameters considered, new criterion based on seats instead of capacity in litres, Iee thresholds revised for all classes.

Refrigerators and freezers: inclusion of parameters linked to the climate zone (with consumption tested at 16, 22, 32 °C), bonuses for appliances with compartments at 0°C or with inverter compressors, classes A and B unattainable for combined models and freezers.

News coming also for classes F and G: from this year the F it will be progressively eliminated from the marketwith the aim of incentivizing the production and sale of more efficient household appliances, while from March 1, 2025, the

G class will be prohibited for most categories of household appliances, in order to eliminate less efficient products from the market and promote a more conscious use of energy.