Appliances fail to meet energy standards

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Recent research published by Defra shows that some of the top selling household appliances may not be performing in accordance with claimed standards printed on the labels. Defra tested 24 of the best selling washing machines, 24 ovens and 265 different light bulbs. These tests were not full legal compliance testing, but simply a snapshot, testing individual appliances against their energy labelling.

They revealed that:

  • 16 of the 24 washer dryers tested did not perform in accordance with all the declarations on their labels;
  • Four of the washer dryers tested were unable to dry to the required level – so energy and water measurements could not be compared with the performance declared on the label. This means that even where consumers have bought an apparently energy efficient appliance, the need to dry clothes for longer may result in higher energy use than suggested on the label.
  • 23 of the 24 ovens tested performed in accordance with their energy efficiency label.
  • Some light bulbs tested had no labels at all despite this being mandatory.
  • Three-quarters of Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFLs) performed to all the declarations on their label (correct energy class, brightness and wattage used).
  • 8% of CFL bulbs labelled A tested as B.

Environment Minister Dan Norris commented: “Defra is pushing Europe to revise and extend the A-G energy efficiency labelling system for more products to greater promote high efficiency products and help consumers choose the best products on the market. This research highlights the need for these standards to be fully enforced. Defra has recently appointed a new market surveillance authority to ensure this happens.”

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