Is your washing machine triple A rated? Guess again...
As every frog with a hand up his back knows, while it isn’t easy being green, if there is a financial incentive to being more energy efficient, people are more likely to join in. But what happens when energy (and cost) saving claims are
made-up exaggerated not quite accurate?
The Energy Savings Trust has now turned it’s suspicious attention on manufacturers of white goods, claiming that 20% of products do not live up to their energy efficiency claims. This is in addition to an EU investigation that found one in five products were not compliant with energy standards, including items being incorrectly labelled as regards their energy efficiency.
As a result, the Energy Saving Trust will now be independently purchasing and testing energy-using products across Europe to verify the energy saving claims made by manufacturers. This is part of a product surveillance programme, known as MarketWatch, to make sure consumers are getting the best deal through fully compliant energy-using products that match their energy saving claims in real-life situations.
Over three years, the scheme will see over 300 inspections in shops and 300 in online stores, checking a total of 25,000 products to see if they are properly labelled. Additional laboratory tests will also be employed to verify the true energy efficiency of products against the performance claimed.
Philip Sellwood, chief executive at the Energy Saving Trust, said: “Consumers are wising up to the monetary savings of using the best and most efficient products – they’re trying to do the right thing but need to be rewarded properly through the savings stated being realised."
“That’s why we aim to be the eyes and ears for UK consumers to ensure energy efficiency claims by product manufacturers are true and will save them money on their energy bills. We need to address the fact that consumers across Europe are not maximising the energy saving benefits stated by millions of products."
Energy rating on white goods is big business, with the likes of Which! and John Lewis publishing details of the ‘true’ cost of buying a new appliance once energy running-cost savings are also imputed. Energy Saving Trust figures indicate that the UK alone could save nearly £1.3 billion a year on electricity bills by switching to more energy efficient products. This includes fridges, freezers, tumble dryers, washing machines and dishwashers. But only if the appliances achieve the energy savings stated on the tin.