Which? today reveals 10 eco products that we think aren’t worth buying, which could help you save £535 by leaving them on the shelf. We also give you alternatives to help you save energy, water and money.
Eco products you don’t need…
There’s a plethora of eco products on the market that promise to slash your power, heating or water bills, but our tests reveal that not all of them deliver on those claims.
To separate the products we think are and aren’t worth investing in, we sent some to our lab for testing, and others to a user panel for assessment. During our tests we found that one product, the Ecotek Energy Wizard, actually did the opposite of what it claims to do – it actually increased the power used by a plasma TV or stereo. And we found that two disposable battery chargers didn’t do the job effectively – even though each could cost you up to £35.
One user whose home didn’t have high water pressure found that the water-saving shower head they tried only provided a disappointing trickle of water to wash under.
Find out the full details of the eco products that we think you can live without…
Note: September 2013 – Vphase has gone into administration.
… and the products you do need
As well as revealing the eco products that we think you’re better off avoiding, we’re also giving you some great alternatives and money-saving ideas in this photo gallery. Some of them won’t even cost you a penny.
Are eco products really green? How much energy and resources have been used during the manufacture of an eco product? And how much fuel has been burned shipping it from the production line to your home?
Which? energy expert Sylvia Baron says: ‘For the product to truly make a difference in terms of carbon savings, it will need to save more carbon when in use than it consumes during its production and disposal. And this is quite complicated to work out.
‘As a general rule, if you buy an eco product and don’t use it much, it is likely that you will have contributed to more carbon being burned than saved. Most items we buy have a carbon foortprint.
‘The Carbon Label has started appearing on some popular products. Did you know, for example, that the carbon footprint of a pint of Tesco’s semi-skimmed milk is 800g? That’s the same as driving two miles in an economical car.’
Join the debate
If you’ve encountered a useless or overly expensive eco product, or want to share your energy-saving tips, tell us about it on Which? Conversation, where we’re discussing this subject.
Lower your gas and electricity bills
You can compare energy prices and switch to a new gas and electricity supplier on Which? Switch. People who switched with us between 1 October and 31 December 2013 are predicted to save an average of £234 a year on their bills.
Which? RSS and Twitter news feeds
For daily consumer news, subscribe to the Which? consumer news RSS feed. If you have an older web browser you may need to copy and paste http://www.which.co.uk/feeds/news.xml into your newsreader.
Follow @WhichNews on Twitter for the latest news, or @WhichAction to see how we’re campaigning for consumers.