From 20 June consumers will see a new energy saving rating label when buying TVs, washing machines, dishwashers and fridge freezers to help make the right choice on what product is best for the environment.
And to raise awareness of the new rating system Environment Secretary Caroline Spelman has launched a campaign to help consumers choose the most efficient product which will save them money and lower their carbon footprint.
UK consumers are less likely to buy energy efficient appliances than others in Europe1 and the new campaign is designed to inform consumers of changes to these labels ahead of them becoming mandatory from 20 June 2011.
Launching the campaign, Environment Secretary Caroline Spelman said:
“Consumers want to make the right decisions when buying new goods that use less energy and bring down household bills. These new energy saving ratings will help people make the right choice when out shopping for TVs and white goods by choosing those which are rated the darkest green on the labels.”
The European Energy Label includes a rainbow of coloured bars and an indicator showing how well that product performs. The labels currently run from A-G, with A being the best and displayed as dark green, and G the worst, depicted as red. The new labels will see the introduction of A+ and A++ so that products that have gone the extra energy saving mile gain more credit. As products become more energy efficient, higher categories of A+++ may also be added to the rating scale. But the colours of the label will remain the same, so dark green will always indicate the most energy efficient products, even if it is not always ‘A’.
As well as the band indication, the labels will also have figures such as the amount of energy that the product uses (kWh). The lower this figure is, the less energy the product uses.
More products will also carry this label in the future, like boilers and vacuum cleaners and energy saving ratings will also appears in adverts and not just at its point of sale.
You can find out more about energy labels in the Environment and greener living section of Directgov.
In conjunction with retailers, Defra has developed a toolkit of communication materials including a poster, leaflet and a film to explain the changes to the label. The film can be viewed here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uqIVmxd_XMM
Energy saving ratings have been around since the mid 90s and make it easy for customers to compare the efficiency ratings of different products. It compares like with like, so rather than all fridges being graded against each other, it is just fridges of similar size.
1. ‘Factors influencing the penetration of energy efficient electrical appliances into national markets in Europe’: