Companies called to improve green guidance CBI report calls for clearer advice for consumers

09 March 2011

Energy efficient house

The CBI says that consumers need better product information to help them get greener. 

A report released by the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) today urged companies to provide better information to consumers about energy efficiency.

According to the report, 83% of people think that companies are responsible for keeping them informed about the energy efficiency of products. However, at the moment only 16% of people actually trust manufacturers to give them that information, and less than 9% trust retailers.

Who to trust on green products

Government efforts such as the FIT scheme and the Green Deal aim to empower consumers to go green and save money. But consumers still aren't sure who to trust when it comes to investing in a greener home.

Among 16-24 year olds, the government and scientists were relatively trusted. However, older recipients trusted the government less, and were more likely to turn to consumer groups like Which? for information on green products.

Which? senior advocate Jenny Driscoll said:

'If we want consumers to be on board with energy efficiency, it's crucial that they are given the right information to make the right choice. It's great that the government wants to encourage green behaviour, but we must make sure that consumers are getting value for money from green deals and products, and they're being given good advice and fair deals from the companies they're buying from.'

Better green labelling

One of CBI's recommendations is for clearer labelling of energy efficient products. The report highlights the success of schemes such as the fuel economy labelling on cars and the A-G energy efficiency rating on household appliances.

CBI argue that using common language and symbols to reflect the energy efficiency of a product could help to build consumer trust and ensure that more people take advantage of green products and initiatives.

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