Can the new energy labels help us save on bills while improving the energy efficiency of our homes? Our guest from Energy Saving Trust explains more.
This is a guest post by Katie Searle. All views expressed are Katie’s own and not necessarily shared by Which?.
Since its introduction in 1994, the energy label has been one of the UK and Europe’s most successful initiatives for consumers, helping us choose energy-efficient and cost-saving products while making an important contribution to achieving national energy and climate targets.
Over the last 25 years, the energy label has successfully promoted research and development of greener technologies. Until 1 March 2021, however, most products on the market were in the top three energy classes, as appliances have become more energy efficient over time. The old system, which used ‘+’ symbols in the top categories, didn’t allow any room for technological improvement at a time when carbon emissions and cost savings are at the forefront of our minds.
Revised rating system
An important change we’ve seen this year is the revised rating system, which now ranges from A to G. Without the ‘+’ extensions (eg A+++), labels are now simpler and easier to understand.
For example, an appliance that had an A+++ classification may now be rated B or C, according to the new energy efficiency scale.
It’s important to understand that a change to an appliance rating does not indicate the appliance is less energy efficient, it just means that the product has been rated using the new scale levels. This will allow the most efficient products to be rated higher on the new scale.
So, when looking for a new refrigerator, freezer, washing machine, washer-dryer, dishwasher, television or monitor, we may find that the best rated one is a C or a D, but that only means that there is room for manufacturers to improve the technology and gain a higher energy efficiency rating on the new scale.
Are you concerned about home energy efficiency?
Recent findings published by Energy Saving Trust show that nearly all UK homeowners are concerned about their home energy efficiency; the new label offers a great opportunity for consumers to address some of these concerns, at the same time as benefitting from savings over the lifetime of an appliance.
For instance, choosing a D-rated fridge-freezer over a G-rated model could save your household £850 and 1,660kg of carbon dioxide over the product’s lifetime. An A-rated washing machine could help you save £60 in energy bills, while a D-rated dishwasher could knock £100 off your bill, if you compare it to a G model.
Even your TV can be kinder to your pocket and the environment: choosing an F-rated 32” TV over a G-rated 40” screen could save your family £132 over its lifetime.
Were you aware of the new rating system? For more information, including information for consumers and professionals, you can visit energylabel.org.uk.
This was a guest post by Katie Searle. All views expressed were Katie’s own and not necessarily shared by Which?.