Electricity usage has a profound detrimental effect on the environment. Electricity is sourced from power stations, the majority of which burn harmful fossil fuels. One way of reducing electricity usage and, therefore, carbon emissions is to use energy efficient appliances.
Energy Efficient Labelling
Under EU regulations many electrical goods must carry an energy efficient label. The ‘EU energy label’ must be displayed on the following electrical goods:
- Washing Machines
- Tumble Dryers
- Electric Ovens
- Digital Televisions
- Lamps, Light bulbs, Light fittings.
Understanding the EU Energy Label
The EU energy label rates the efficiency of an appliance from ‘A’ to ‘G’, with ‘A’ being the most efficient and ‘G’ being the least efficient.
Washing machines and dishwashers (being the least energy efficient of household goods) carry two extra categories ‘A+’ and ‘A++’. A+ and A++ models are between 25% and 60% more efficient than standard models.
Other Useful Information
The EU energy label carries other useful information in order to help the customer make an informed purchase including:
- Energy consumption in kWh (kilo watt hours – units of energy used per hour). The less kW per hour that are being consumed, the more efficient the appliance will be, thus reducing damage to the environment and saving money.
- Washing machines, tumble dryers and dishwashers also carry a performance gauge running from ‘A’ to ‘G’. A is the highest performance, G the lowest.
- Depending on the device other information may be available. For example, a washing machine label may provide information on water consumption. Lower water consumption will be cost effective and will have positive effects for the environment.
- Some manufacturers provide a ‘noise level’ measured in decibels (dB), though there is no obligation to do so.
Energy Efficiency Recommended
Some products carry an additional ‘Energy Efficiency Recommended’ label. The Energy Efficiency Recommended scheme is funded by the government supported ‘Energy Efficient Trust’ and is only applied to the most efficient products. If in doubt look for this label before making a purchase.
Energy Efficient Products
Refrigerators, Freezers, Washing Machines, Tumble Dryers, and Dishwashers are the least energy efficient products. It is possible to make considerable energy savings with these products. Find the most efficient refrigerator (the least efficient household appliance) and you could consume up to 5 times less energy than you would using a standard refrigerator. Energy efficient washing machines can reduce electricity usage by up to a third. Using the most efficient appliances across the board will have a massive impact on the amount of energy you consume.
Smaller electrical appliances are often overlooked, yet using energy efficient Compact Fluorescent bulb can save up to 4 times more energy than a standard bulb.
Buying Energy Efficient Products
There is huge pressure mounting on both manufacturers and retailers to provide energy efficient appliances. As the EU energy labelling system enshrines the desire to cut down on energy use in law, with the least efficient products gradually being phased out, it is in everybody’s interest to save energy.
There are many guides available on the internet to help you make an informed decision.
If you ask a vendor for help in finding the most energy efficient appliance they (under normal consumer law) are obligated to help you find just that.
Finally, finding the most energy efficient product may entail shopping around for a while longer than you normally would. Though this may be time consuming, you will reap the benefits, as you will not only save money in the long run, but also contribute to a better global environment.