Electric gadgets should have 'green' labelsHelping shoppers make greener choices

19 December 2006

The amount of electricity people use to power gadgets such as cordless phones and electric toothbrushes is set to double in the next five years, according to a new study.

The Energy Saving Trust also predicts British consumers will buy more than 30 million electrical and electronic items over the next six months.

The BBC reports that the trust's research shows many Britons regard items such as cordless phones and electric toothbrushes as ‘essential’.

The trust is now calling for gadgets to carry labels warning shoppers how much they will cost to run.

Energy labels

It believes labelling might persuade shoppers either to buy fewer or to choose more energy-efficient models.

EST Chairman Edward Hyams said: ‘We don't want to be saying 'don't have it' - a lot of it is about information and choices.

‘On televisions, for example, we would like to see labels saying 'if you watch it, it will cost x pence per hour, if you leave it on standby, it will cost y pence.

‘Then you can present the environmental cost in monetary terms,’  he told the BBC.

Energy efficient

Research carried out for the trust shows how Britons are increasingly regarding electrical and electronic items as indispensable.

Newer appliances are generally more efficient than old ones; so in principle, purchasing new goods can reduce energy demands. However many gadgets are not bought as replacements, but as additions to the household.