Energy labels provide many valuable information about a product. Let's take a closer look at what kind of information is on there and what they mean.
What's an EU energy label?
EU energy labels are a standardised system of energy efficiency ratings issued by the European Union for most domestic appliances. The first EU energy label appeared on an appliance in 1994. Since then, more and more appliance categories have been included in EU Energy Regulations and the labels have been updated various times.
The main purpose of EU energy labels is to collectively cut the energy consumption of home appliances in Europe by doing two things:
1. Giving consumers clear comparison criteria and help them choose more energy-efficient products, and
2. Encouraging companies to invest in developing ever-more energy-efficient products.
Energy labels include valuable information about an appliance such as the annual energy consumption, noise level or its capacity. These little label cards are like a summary of all the things that you should take into account when looking for a new dishwasher.
What’s on a dishwasher energy label?
Here is what a EU energy label for dishwashers looks like and here is what the symbols and numbers stand for:
Read on to discover what each rating and number means in more detail.
Energy class (A+++ to D)
Dishwasher energy ratings go from A+++ to D, and the largest dishwashers are generally the most efficient. Remember though, to achieve the lowest energy and water consumption per load, the machine should be full.
One of the main components which affects a machine’s efficiency is the invertor motor. Look for dishwashers with brushless motors. They’re more efficient and quieter than other types of motor.
Annual energy consumption (kWh/year)
Dishwasher energy labels will provide an estimate of annual energy consumption too, though the accuracy of this will depend on how regularly you use the appliance. For dishwashers, the annual energy consumption estimate is based on 280 standard wash cycles per year, which means about 5 washes a week.
Your individual washing habits will make a big impact on the actual amount of power your dishwasher uses. Still, multiplying the annual energy consumption of a dishwasher with the cost of electricity per kWh in your region will give you a good estimate of how much it will cost to run that appliance year-round.
Annual water consumption (L/year)
Dishwasher energy labels also provide an estimate of annual water consumption, which is generally between 3 300 and 3 600 litres per year. Again, this is based on 280 standard wash cycles per year.
Drying efficiency class (A to G)
Dishwasher drying efficiency ratings go from A to G and show how efficient your dishwasher is during drying.
Capacity (place settings)
Dishwasher capacity is expressed in “place settings”. One set includes a dinner plate, dessert plate, single glass, soup bowl, tea cup, saucer, and cutlery.
Noise levels (dB)
Lastly, you can find the operating noise level of the appliance on the energy label, too. Most modern machines have noise levels of around 40-55 dB. As a frame of reference, a normal conversation is around 60 dB, while the ringer on a home telephone will be about 80 dB.
Why should you care about energy efficiency?
For two basic reasons:
1. Your household budget and
2. The environment
Though dishwashers with higher energy ratings tend to be a bit more expensive, they cost less to power. Switching to an energy-efficient dishwasher can reduce your energy costs up to 50% and repay that initial investment in a few years.
Energy costs have been rising rapidly all over the world. Our lifestyle requires increasingly greater amounts of energy while the resources are getting thinner. According to the European Commission, your savings could add up to 300 Euros over the lifetime of your appliance. And that’s not counting the price increase over time.
You might be thinking “what difference will just one dishwasher make?”. Well, it’s a cumulative effect. Energy efficiency has never been more important than now where resources are running low and the effects of human life on nature is ever increasing.
If all of Europe would upgrade their dishwashers with energy efficient ones, up to 2 TWh (that’s 2.000.000.000 kWh!) of electricity would be saved by 2020.