New rules will help shoppers reduce their energy bills

Incoming EU rules will require online retailers to show helpful energy labels alongside new products from 1 January 2015.

Physical stores are required by law to display energy labels on fridges, TVs and other appliances, but online stores could ignore the label so long as they provided certain information. With sales shifting online, the rules are changing.

Websites will likely show a ‘nested’ version of the label – a snippet from the label positioned near the product price, with more information available if users hover, mouse click or physically touch, in the case of mobile devices, the label snippet. The European Commission has put in place detailed rules to ensure no funny business here.

The rules are only mandatory for new models after 1 January 2015, but manufacturers may chose to supply digital versions of labels for existing models earlier and retailers may or may not host them. We hope they do.