Comet cuts price of 'greenest' white goodsElectrical giant running month-long trial

25 March 2008

Energy grading label

You can't always trust energy labels

Electrical chain Comet is knocking off the cost of VAT on the most energy-efficient white goods.

The move - a month-long trial - will take 17.5% off the price of selected A-rated fridges and freezers, dishwashers, washing machines and cooking appliances.

Comet says the initiative will allow customers to save up to £134 on a purchase.

Last week Gordon Brown won a commitment from the EU to launch a review of possible VAT changes as an incentive to encourage consumers to buy energy-efficiency goods.

VAT charges

Comet Managing Director Hugh Harvey said: ‘We're committed to making it easier for customers to choose energy-efficient electrical goods and fully support the government's plans to reduce VAT on these appliances.

‘At the end of the trial we will assess the impact that removing the VAT had on consumer behaviour and will share this evidence with the government.

‘Cost is often cited as one of the main barriers to eco-friendly purchase and we hope this initiative will show that significant savings encourage consumers to opt for more environmentally friendly solutions.’

Energy-efficient

VAT is currently charged at a rate of 17.5% on goods and services, although some are exempt, such as newspapers, food and children's clothes.

There is also a reduced rate of 5% on certain products including insulation and its installation, but energy-efficient goods do not qualify for the exemption.

Which? electricals expert Anthony Hume said: 'This scheme seems like a great way of easily pointing consumers towards energy-efficient appliances. 

'Environmental issues are increasingly important to buyers and this provides another good example where doing your bit for the planet can also save money. 

'It will be interesting to see whether this scheme sticks and if other retailers will follow Comet's positive lead.'