As part of its ambition to Build Back Greener, the Government recently announced further steps for the UK energy efficiency legislation.

These new steps aim to tackle premature obsolescence, improve energy-efficiency of electrical products and enable consumers to be better informed in choosing the most efficient appliances. The wider vision is to reduce e-waste and carbon emissions.

It's been confirmed that from Summer 2021:

  • consumers will have a new legal right for repairs resulting in a legal requirement for manufacturers to make spare parts for products available for the first time. This will have cost and operational implications for many retailers but also raises safety concerns around reparability and handling of returned products. 
  • new tighter rules such as higher energy-efficiency standards will be introduced for energy white goods like washing machines and fridges as well as TVs. This means that manufacturers putting industrial and domestic energy-related products on the UK market will need to consider eco-design measures that reduce the energy use and enable carbon emissions reductions. 

BEIS aims to lay Regulations before Parliament this Spring to bring these requirements into force in Great Britain in the Summer.

In addition, since 1 March 2021, manufacturers and retailers are required to update and display the re-scaled energy label alongside washing machines, dishwashers, household fridges, and electronic displays at the point of sale. The new scale ranges now from A to G and aims to improve the communication on a product's efficiency.

BEIS also published its response to the Call for Evidence on energy-related products held in June 2020, indicating its intention to align with the latest EU standards but also to go further by launching a world class policy framework for energy-related products later this year and publishing a Heat and Buildings Strategy, in due course, which will set out actions for reducing emissions from buildings. 

Note that earlier this year, BEIS held a second consultation on draft eco-design and energy labelling regulations for lighting products. Officials are currently analysing the feedback and a response is expected later this year.