Friday, April 17, 2009

New energy standards for household appliances

Fridges, freezers, televisions and washing machines are to have minimum energy standards and energy labels following an EU ruling.

Minimum standards will ensure that only energy efficient products are sold in Europe. Mandatory labelling will help consumers choose the most energy efficient products for their homes, which will help reduce their energy bills.

Circulators – the small pumps used on central heating systems –will also have new minimum energy standards applied.

Together these measures will reduce carbon dioxide emissions in the UK by around 2 million tonnes per annum. They will also deliver a net benefit to the UK economy of around £150 million per annum, mostly in the form of reduced householders’ annual energy bills.

This is the first time that minimum energy efficiency standards and labelling have been set for televisions. Labelling has appeared on fridges, freezers and washing machines for ten years but has not been updated in that time. The new scheme will mean that the current A category will be added to by the addition of new classes on top of A such as A-20% (20% more efficient than the current A standard), A-40% (40% more efficient than the current A standard) or A-60% (60% more efficient than the current A standard).

Lord Hunt, Defra Minister for Sustainability said:

“I’m delighted that the EU has joined together to save consumers money and help save significant amounts of energy and carbon dioxide emissions by introducing these minimum standards.

“It is disappointing though that we could not agree to update the labelling system that we know consumers understand and have confidence in. We now have a job to do in working constructively with consumers, retailers and manufacturers to ensure that consumers are able to easily identify the most energy efficient appliances available.”

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