From March 2021, new EU energy efficiency labels will apply when labeling electrical appliances in stores. In contrast to the original labels, these now only include the efficiency classes A to G. The information on the power consumption of household appliances has also been revised and is now more realistic due to new measurement methods.
The changes become clear in a direct comparison of the labels: for example, an appliance originally classified as A++ will slip to class E from March 1, 2021. The distinction is now finer: the end consumer was previously often faced with the challenge of recognizing the exact differences between energy efficiency A+ and A++, for example. As a result of these increased demands of the reported energy consumption, there is no longer a concentration of practically all appliances in the upper classes. The top, new categories A and B have not yet been met by almost any device, which is why future device classes will still have room for improvement in terms of energy consumption.
The consumption values indicated on the labels are also changing. The stated energy consumption for refrigerators will mostly be higher in the future, as the use of the appliances in everyday life will now be taken into account. Up to now, testing has been carried out under laboratory conditions, so to speak: In the case of refrigerators, for example, the EU standard required the test institutes to test power consumption with the refrigerator compartment empty, without any goods and at an outside temperature of 25 °C. These results thus naturally deviated from real-life conditions.
Vacuum insulation panels (VIPs) from va-Q-tec have been proven to reduce the power consumption of these appliances, which is why they are already used in many appliances in the highest efficiency classes: Model calculations showed that 1 million VIPs can already save as much electricity as is produced by 120 wind turbines or 2,400 photovoltaic systems the size of a soccer field. This corresponds to approx. 750,000kWh and 300,000t CO2. va-Q-tec produces over 2 million VIPs per year.
The use of panels from va-Q-tec is becoming increasingly important due to the new labeling regulation. VIPs have ten times the insulating performance of conventional materials and are therefore used where energy efficiency is particularly important. These outstanding insulating properties make them ideal for installation in refrigerators and freezers and have established themselves on the market. The new energy efficiency labels will further increase their use as manufacturers optimize their appliances to achieve the new more demanding efficiency classes.