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Citizens can reduce their energy bills with the help of new labels on household appliances

Cetățenii pot reduce facturile la energie cu ajutorul noilor etichete la electrocasnice

The use of energy-efficient household appliances could reduce energy consumption in the residential sector by about 30 ktoe (ton of oil equivalent). by 2030, which constitutes 1.07% of the energy efficiency target assumed within the Energy Community, regarding the final energy consumption of 2800 ktoe. The replacement of energy-inefficient household appliances will also contribute to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by 268 thousand tons of CO2.

To stimulate the replacement of energy-inefficient household appliances, new energy labels are to be introduced for several categories of equipment: refrigerators, washing machines, electric stoves, LED lamps. All this will be included in the pilot programme «Rabla electrocasnice» for the replacement of energy-inefficient electrical household equipment, within the programme financed by the EU and implemented by UNDP «Addressing the impacts of the energy crisis in the Republic of Moldova».

Entrepreneurs who manufacture, import and trade household appliances, customs inspectors and those responsible for the supervision of non-food products and consumer protection participated on 19 June in a workshop on the obligation of stakeholders regarding the conformity assessment of eco-design and energy labelling. The event was conducted with the support of the EU and UNDP, in the context of the preparation for the launch of the «Rabla electrocasnice» programme.

The amendments to the law transpose into national legislation the European Directive that provides for a simpler scale of energy efficiency (from A+++ to D currently, to A to G, without the plus symbols [+]), easier for consumers to understand, to make conscious choices. The aim of the Ecodesign Directive stimulates the market by reducing the number of less efficient equipment, making a significant contribution to energy savings and reducing bills, while promoting innovation and investment in the production of more energy efficient appliances.

The Secretary of State at the Ministry of Energy, Carolina Novac, said that the amendments of the law are for the benefit of the citizens, because over time they will get lower utility bills. The Ministry aims for the new regulatory framework to be correctly applied by the competent institutions. In the long-term perspective, it is also desired to reduce the effects on the environment, in the context where by 2050 the Republic of Moldova aims to reach the target of zero carbon emissions.

«The largest share of energy consumption in the Republic of Moldova belongs to buildings, and this also includes the consumption of household appliances. Energy efficiency does not only mean changing windows, thermal insulation of buildings and roofs. It is well known that in households the largest consumption is a refrigerator. It’s one thing to have an old refrigerator, it’s another to have an energy-efficient one — this is immediately felt in the bill,» said Carolina Novac.

Mihail Lupu, component manager of the EU-funded programme «Addressing the impacts of the energy crisis in the Republic of Moldova», says that one of the aims of the workshop was for the authorities to communicate and cooperate better in the market surveillance process. A study carried out in the EU shows that 80% of respondents believe that not enough resources are allocated to market surveillance authorities.

«Companies that import household appliances will have a significant role in the process of replacing old energy equipment with high energy efficiency ones. This is why the part of communication with entrepreneurs is to be strengthened, as well as the part of supervision exercised by the State Inspectorate for the Supervision of Non-Food Products and Consumer Protection,» said Mihail Lupu.

The Director of the Inspectorate, Sergiu Darănuță, welcomed the fact that in the Republic of Moldova a programme for the replacement of household appliances, similar to the one carried out in Romania, will be implemented. «We aim to monitor market dynamics in home appliances. The citizen needs to understand that by investing in an energy-efficient product today, he/she will save money over time, have support from the state and make us Europeans in every sense of the word,» he added.

Estimates show that in the EU between 10-25% of products placed on the market are non-compliant with ecodesign requirements — products offered for sale without energy labels displayed or with the label displayed in an insufficient way (e.g. hidden or covered label). About 10% of the expected energy savings are lost due to these non-conformities.