Mainstream media launch

MarketWatch generated mainstream media attention as it launched across Europe this month. UK TV, radio, national, regional and trade press all reported that an estimated 1 in 5 white goods are not as efficient as claimed on their energy label. The Daily and Sunday Telegraph, Herald Scotland, Express & Star, Metro print edition, BBC TV and radio bulletins all reported on the problem, as did most of the big regional newspapers and numerous trade media. In Germany, a focus on TV mislabelling was covered equally well, with stories in Die Welt, Die Zeit, Handelsblatt, Berliner Morgenpost, Focus, and national radio station Deutschlandfunk, plus Germany’s influential regional press, including SDZBloomberg also covered the story internationally.

$21m fine for bulb firm

A US court has taken a dim view of a bulb firm that overstated the performance of its LEDs. The firm exaggerated the light output and duration of its products, not a bright idea. Most of the fine will go to customer refunds. More details here.

Official study backs better funding arrangements for MSAs

An official study on potential improvements to the Energy Labelling directive, including market surveillance, has been published. The study tees up reforms expected to begin in the second half of 2014.

The consultancy firm Ecofys published its report (PDF) on Friday. A section on market surveillance makes a number of recommendations on how effectiveness can be improved and compliance rates increased. The main points made are:

Resources: make sure funding and expert capacities for market surveillance is not severely limited causing financial losses and environmental constraints to consumers and society. Find options to ensure market surveillance receives the necessary priority and funding to prevent energy losses due to noncompliance.

Definition of national market surveillance: Ensure market surveillance on national level has clear rules and precisely planned outcomes and strategies, with a defined and published minimum level of activities to be performed and monitored.

Member State cooperation and EU support: support as much as possible cooperation on European level to ensure synergies from individual activities, in terms of sharing the plans and adapting results.

Enforceable requirements: When preparing new legislation or revising existing one for some of the product groups concerned, concerning both the Energy Label and Ecodesign Directives, make sure that market surveillance and enforceability is fully reflected in the new requirements specified.