Trade Advice Document

Trading advice from several sources is available to help businesses comply with the law.

The Health and Safety Executive website has advice on:

The Chartered Trading Standards Institute provides advice on a number of topics:

Energy rating information


In the guide

Energy-efficiency labels must be displayed on certain electrical goods that are for sale

 This guidance is for England, Scotland and Wales

The Energy Information Regulations 2011 and EU Regulation 2017/1369 setting a framework for energy labelling apply to energy-related products that have a significant direct or indirect impact on the consumption of energy.

If you sell certain new electrical goods to end users you must clearly display an energy efficiency label on the appliance and make a product information sheet available in the product brochure or any literature that accompanies the product.

The Regulations also apply to hire or hire purchase, as well as displays to end users (directly or indirectly) by any means of distance selling, including the internet. However, it is the responsibility of your supplier (that is, the manufacturer, their authorised representative in the European Union (EU), or the person who places the product on the market) to supply the energy efficiency label and the product information sheet.

Suppliers must register appliances that require an energy label in the European Product Database for Energy Labelling (EPREL) before selling them on the European market.

An example label

Energy rating label

The label conveys information on the energy efficiency of a particular model through colours, arrows and the alphabet. The A-G scale ranks appliances from the best (A) to the worst (G), while a corresponding colour code uses green to denote 'more efficient' and red for 'less efficient'. For certain appliances the existing energy efficiency rating category of A is divided into three extra categories (A+, A++ and A+++) where A+++ indicates 'more efficient'.

The label, standard across all EU Member States, is divided into four zones, which must include: 

  • the data referring to the manufacturer and the model of the appliance
  • the appliance's energy efficiency class, in A-G with corresponding colour-coded arrows. Certain appliances may be rated up to A+++, or only as low as D
  • relevant specific data according to each type of appliance - for example, size, capacity, annual water consumption, noise emissions, spin-drying efficiency, etc. This is displayed in pictogram format and will differ depending on what type of appliance it is
  • the amount of energy the product uses in a year calculated in kWh/annum

Which products are required to have labels?

  • household tumble dryers
  • household washing machines
  • household combined washer dryers
  • household lamps
  • household dishwashers
  • household electric ovens
  • household refrigerators and freezers and their combinations
  • air conditioners
  • televisions
  • electrical lamps and luminaires
  • vacuum cleaners
  • domestic ovens and range hoods 
  • water heaters and hot water storage tanks; space heaters and combination heaters
  • professional refrigerated storage units
  • solid fuel boilers and packages of a solid fuel boiler, supplementary heaters, temperature controls and solar devices 
  • local space heaters

These Regulations do not apply to:

  • second-hand products (unless it is the first time they are placed on the market within the UK; in other words, when they were new they were sold outside of the EU)
  • any means of transport for persons or goods
  • the rating plate (or its equivalent) affixed to products for safety purposes

Product information sheet

The energy label has to be supported by a product information sheet providing data relating to the particular model of appliance. This product information has to be contained in all product brochures and, if brochures are not provided, in all other product literature supplied with the product.

Where do I need to display this information?

On all relevant products offered for sale, hire or hire purchase. In the case of any means of distance selling, including the internet, energy efficiency information that would otherwise be contained on the label and must also be displayed to end users, either directly or indirectly, before they buy the product.

The physical label must be attached by the dealer (the retailer) on the outside front or top of the product, which remains clearly visible. The label must be a standard size, be in colour and on a white background.

Furthermore, where reference is made to the energy efficiency or a price of a relevant specific model of appliance in an advertisement, the energy efficiency class of that model must be provided. 

Supplementary documents, such as brochures or technical manuals will also require information about a specific model's energy efficiency class or energy consumption figures if they provide information to end users about the technical parameters of that product.

You may also wish to include electronic versions of the energy label to consumers; this can be done in addition to and not instead of a label in paper form.

Under EU Regulation (EU) 2017/1369, suppliers (manufacturers, authorised representatives, or importers who place products on the market) must register each product on the European Product Database for Energy Labelling (EPREL). This applies retrospectively to all products placed on the market since 1 August 2017. All new models must be registered before they are placed on the market.

Where can I get the energy labels and product information sheet from?

It is the responsibility of the supplier to supply the energy labels and product information sheet free of charge to dealers. There is a requirement for them to provide the labels promptly so ordinarily they would come with each appliance. Therefore if they have not or you need another one, for any reason, then your supplier should be able to provide the correct one for the model in question, and should do this within five working days of your request.

Although the responsibility for implementing the labelling falls with the suppliers, it is the responsibility of the dealer to make sure the label is fixed to the appliance and the product information is available for consumers to see.

Misleading information

You are not allowed to display any label, mark, symbol or inscription that, if displayed, is likely to mislead or confuse end users with respect to the consumption of energy (or other essential resources where relevant) during use. It is an offence to issue or provide false documentation with respect to energy rating under the Energy Information Regulations 2011 and the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008.


Failure to comply with trading standards law can lead to enforcement action and to sanctions, which may include a fine and/or imprisonment. For more information please see 'Trading standards: powers, enforcement and penalties'.

Key legislation

Last reviewed / updated: January 2020


In this update

No major changes

Please note

This information is intended for guidance; only the courts can give an authoritative interpretation of the law.

The guide's 'Key legislation' links may only show the original version of the legislation, although some amending legislation is linked to separately where it is directly related to the content of a guide. Information on amendments to legislation can be found on each link's 'More Resources' tab.

© 2020 itsa Ltd.

The county council is not responsible for this information.