Energy label changes could 'confuse consumers'Energy Saving Trust criticises EU proposals

30 January 2009

Energy label

A washing machine energy label

The EU plans to change energy efficiency ratings for appliances such as fridges and light bulbs - but the Energy Saving Trust (EST) has warned that the changes could confuse consumers.

In the UK, 87% of people recognise the current system where appliances are rated A to G for their energy efficiency, with A rated goods most energy efficient and G rated goods least efficient.

One proposal under consideration involves using higher numbers for appliances that save more energy. This would allow for increasing numbers when more efficient products came onto the market.

New efficiency ratings

Chairman of the Energy Saving Trust, Edward Hyams, said: 'If it ain't broke, don't fix it.' 

He added that the A to G ratings should stay as they are widely recognised but he said that the standards manufacturers need to meet to get the top grade should be tightened regularly.

The number of A-rated products bought has increased dramatically since the schemes introduction in 1994. Only 4% of fridges bought in 1999 were A rated compared with 72% today. 

To find out more about the energy efficiency of dishwashers, , fridges and washing machines see our reviews.

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