A bid to encourage more consumers to use energy-efficient light bulbs and domestic appliances is being launched today by a leading supermarket.
The Co-operative Group said it plans to increase its range of power-saving lighting and appliances and is setting an ambitious target of reducing the energy consumption at its premises by 25 per cent within the next five years.
The group currently retails 36 different white goods – washing machines, fridge freezers, dishwashers, and electric cookers – of which 24 have an energy rating of A, the most energy-efficient rating based on European appliance labelling standards.
In future, the company will work with suppliers to ensure that it only offers A-rated goods.
In the run-up to summer 2007, the group said it will overhaul its offering of energy-efficient compact fluorescent light bulbs, providing a much broader range, a reduced price differential and enhanced customer awareness campaign.
In the autumn, the group will then move to stop selling traditional tungsten filament light bulbs at 50 pilot stores with a view to removing them from all stores at a later date, and subject to availability.
White goods and domestic lighting account for 56 per cent of all domestic electricity consumption in the UK. If all retailers were to follow the Co-operative’s lead, greenhouse gas emissions would be reduced by almost three million tonnes per annum – the equivalent of taking 750,000 cars off UK roads.
Martin Beaumont, Chief Executive of the Co-operative Group, said: ‘More and more people are already looking to buy energy-efficient white goods and in categories such as cold appliances, A-rated now has 60 per cent market penetration.
‘However, despite the false economies, energy-inefficient light bulbs still dominate UK markets at 80 per cent and consideration now needs to be given to restricted availability.’
Laura Yates, climate and energy campaigner at Greenpeace said: ‘The Co-op has demonstrated sound business sense in getting ahead of the pack on energy efficiency standards.
‘It shows that meaningful action on climate change can be taken by retailers without waiting for the government.
‘While we strongly welcome moves to remove incandescent light bulbs from shelves, we hope that this can be achieved across all stores without delay.’
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