How Does The New Energy Rating System Work For Appliances? [A-G rating system]

If you haven’t purchased a new electrical appliance in the past few years, it’s likely that you’re unfamiliar with the new energy rating system that was introduced on March the 1st, 2021. This new rating system is similar to the rating system that was previously in place but is less confusing.

To find out more about the new energy ratings for appliances and what they mean for you, keep reading.

Why Have Energy Ratings Changed?

The original energy ratings were implemented around 25 years ago and run from A to F with A being the most energy efficient at that time. However, as advancements were made in appliance technology, more and more were becoming even more energy efficient than those categorised as A rated appliances.

This led to the introduction of A+ which then led to A++ and A+++ ratings added. The problem was that there were so many A+++ rated appliances being introduced that it became too confusing to tell which item was actually the most energy efficient.

Something needed to change which is why this new energy rating has been introduced.

Why Are Energy Ratings Important?

Knowing the energy rating of a product before purchasing it gives you some idea on how much it’s going to cost to run that item. An appliance with a high energy rating is more efficient than one with a lower rating.

This means buying an appliance with a G energy rating is going to cost more to operate than a similar appliance with an A energy rating. The cost is not just financial either, a lower rated appliance will be less environmentally friendly as well.

How Does The New Energy Rating Compare With The Old System?

Even though the old rating system was somewhat confusing, once you understood it, it made sense. So how does the new energy rating system compare? The following table demonstrates the way the new energy rating system compares with the old.

Old Energy RatingNew Energy Rating

What this all means is that the new rating system has stricter requirements and is less confusing for the average consumer. Effectively many A+++ rated products are now likely to be C rated under the new rating system.

This also means that it’s more difficult to get a product A rated under the new system. This ensures that any A rated appliances under this new rating system are actually the top energy efficient appliances.

Explaining The New Energy Efficiency Labels 

QR Code

The new energy rating labels run from A to G with A being the most energy efficient and G the least. The label is also colour coded with A depicted as dark green with the following letters becoming lighter.

So C is a very light green, D is yellow, F is orange and G is red. This makes it far easier to see exactly how energy efficient any appliance is. The darker green the appliance’s rating, the more energy efficient it is.

These letters and colours run down the left hand side of the label and to find out the rating of the appliance you’re looking at just look to the right of the letters.

There you will see a black arrow with a letter in it pointing at the corresponding letter on the left. That black pointer will be pointing at the same letter and corresponding colour as the letter in the black pointer.

QR Code

At the top right hand side of the energy label you will see a QR code. Simply scan the QR code with your phone’s camera and it will give you a link.

When you follow that link you’ll find lots of helpful information about the energy rating of the appliance.

Energy Consumption

Underneath the rating colour coded A to G you will find a number with a measurement beside it. Something like 49 kWh 100 this is found on the label of a washing machine and signifies the energy usage in kilo-watt hours per 100 cycles.

Which means how much energy the appliance will use per 100 wash cycles.

What Are Some Of The More Significant Changes To The Energy Rating System?

washing machine and dryer

We often view change as a negative thing, but in this case, the changes make it easier to understand the energy rating of the appliance. Let’s look at what the new energy rating system means for various household appliances.

Washing Machines

Under the old system the energy rating labels on washing machines gave their ratings based on annual usage. However, as this was always based on average annual usage, it wasn’t really that clear.

Under the new energy rating system, the rating is based on 100 cycles which makes it far easier to compare various different washing machines.

Also there are new icons which show the water consumption per cycle and the overall time of the eco cycle.

Washer/Dryer Combos

Just like with washing machines, the new energy rating is based on 100 cycles and not the estimated annual amount of usage. However, on washer/dryer combos the label is split into 2 halves.

The left hand side is based on the combined washing and drying cycle while the right hand side is based on just the wash cycle.


In a similar way to washers and washer/dryers, dishwasher energy ratings are now given per 100 cycles as opposed to estimated annual usage.

Fridge Freezers

The energy rating label on fridge freezers now includes far more details including things like the amount and size of storage compartments as well as the temperature of the room and noise levels in decibels too.

Wine Coolers

The new energy rating label on wine coolers will now include information concerning noise emissions in much the same way as on fridge freezers. Pretty much all of the other information will remain the same and the energy usage will still be based on annual usage.

Televisions & Monitors

The rating for both TVs and monitors has changed too. The energy rating is now given in kWh per 1000 hours which makes it easier to compare different models. Plus there is more technical information included on the new label as well.

What Does It Mean For The Consumer?


When all is said and done, we all want to know how these changes affect us, the consumer of electrical appliances. Well, you’ll be pleased to know that these changes give us many advantages. These include;

  • Fairer Rules
    The way the figures are calculated are more realistic and easier to understand than under the old rating system.
  • Energy Saving
    As more and more companies strive to get higher energy ratings, appliances will become more energy efficient.
  • Money Saving
    As more products become more energy efficient, they cost less to run. This saves money on energy bills.

Are Appliances Less Energy Efficient Now?

It might seem like appliances rated under the new rating system are less energy efficient because they are rated lower than they were previously. But that’s not the case, they are just ranked differently now.

This makes it more difficult for any appliance to become A rated. Under the old rating system there were more and more A+++ rated appliances. So many in fact, that it was difficult to differentiate between them.

Under this new rating system A+++ will most likely be rated at either a B or a C depending on certain specifications. This means it will be easier to identify those appliances that are really energy efficient.

SEE ALSO: Different Types Of Washing Machine Explained

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best energy rating A or G?

Under the new energy rating system which was introduced in 2021, A is the best energy rating an appliance can have. With G being the worst or lowest in energy efficiency.

Why were the energy rating labels changed?

The energy labels were changed to accommodate the new energy rating system which is fairer, easier to understand and better for the consumer.

Under the new energy rating labels which colour means the most energy efficient?

Under the new energy rating system that came into force in 2021, dark green (A) is the most energy efficient and red (G) is the least energy efficient.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *