A new report commissioned by charity Global Action Plan entitled ‘Watts in the Kitchen’ reveals that UK homeowners could have collectively saved millions of pounds on their energy bills if they had chosen to buy the most energy efficient appliances available.
We blogged a while ago for Green Reviews about the EU’s energy labelling scheme. As technological progress has created appliances more and more efficient than standard ‘A’ rated appliances, these new appliances have been labelled as A+ all the way through to A+++, confusingly meaning that an A rating is no longer the most efficient. Rather than shifting the rating standards up as appliances have got more efficient, more ratings have been added. The result has been that customers have been confused into thinking that the A rated appliance they’re considering buying is the most efficient on the market. This, and the fact that the most efficient appliances tend to be more expensive has meant that recent uptake of efficient white goods hasn’t been nearly as high as expected.
Whilst white goods account for a significant 42% of electricity use in an average home, only a third of the appliances currently bought are A+++ rated (maximum efficiency). The savings achievable are clear – if every customer who purchased an A rated fridge freezer in 2011 had instead bought an A+++ rated model, they would have collectively saved £24 million and the carbon equivalent to removing 33,000 cars from the roads.
Global Action Plan has been joined by industry players B&Q, Siemens, Bosch and British Gas in launching a new Charter for Energy Efficient White Goods, which lays out the report’s recommendations to increase the attractiveness of A+++ rated products. They include:
- Changing the labelling system to make it less confusing
- Improving the advice in stores – currently it’s ‘poor’
- Financially incentivising customers to purchase more efficient models – many experts see this route as actually cheaper than some of the energy saving funding schemes currently in place. There’s even a suggestion that these incentives should be built into one of the wider Government schemes, such as the Green Deal.
Let’s hope the industry sits up and listens to these recommendations – they could save everyone a lot of energy and money. In the mean time, why not check out our Grants and Offers pages? They tell you everything you need to know about what energy saving funding could be available to you.