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In recent years, improved technology has meant an ever-growing stream of devices that significantly surpass the energy efficiency class A. The problem: the labels are unable to depict real significant differences in the amount of energy these devices consume, since they all perform to the same energy class based on the now-outdated requirements of the directives. The label has thus lost some of its value as a decision-making aid. An update of the EU energy label, and at the underlying EU guideline 92/75/EEC, was necessary.

To highlight the continuity with the previous version, the new label has retained a number of its characteristics. This includes efficiency classes denoted through traffic light colours and efficiency classes denoted on a letter grade scale. Green stands for highly energy-efficient devices, while red represents devices with poor energy efficiency. To present the technical progress the scale will be extended to three additional classes (A+, A++, A++).

The newly expanded labelling directive dictates that the new labels must be neutral in language and must be mentioned in any advertising when energy consumption and price are stated. Another important innovation is the obligation to label all "energy related products" - which now also includes TVs.