One in five energy-using products do not match their energy efficiency claims, according to the Energy Saving Trust. Labels are “misleading” consumers about the savings they could make by purchasing certain products.
Research suggests that the UK alone could save nearly £1.3 billion a year on electricity bills by switching to more energy efficient products. However, inaccurate and confusing labelling is leading to some consumers buying products that are not as efficient as they believe, resulting in around 10% of potential energy savings being lost across Europe.
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.”
In response to the findings the organisation will now independently purchase and test energy-using products across Europe to verify the claims made by manufacturers. Over the next three years 25,000 products will be tested to ensure consumers are getting the best deal.
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By choosing an energy efficient freezer consumers can save around £36 over the products lifetime and for a tumble dryer this rises to £180. The figures show that buying energy efficient products can have a positive impact on energy bills as well as the environment.
Sellwood added, “There is an obvious need to recoup and potential savings through establishing more rigorous market surveillance and standards across energy efficient products and labelling. The European Commission has recognised that this energy wastage is a problem and is keen to ensure a compelling climate of compliance across all aspects of energy efficiency.
“From our perspective, it’s clear that any labelling needs to be accurate, easy for the consumer to understand and displayed clearly in retailers across Europe.”
A separate survey released this week found that most UK consumers are concerned about wasting energy at home, with 70% stating it was something they were worried about.