Push for energy labelling

John Lewis and the Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) will introduce a product-labelling trial in 2013 that shows the lifetime running costs of household appliances – starting with washing machines, washer dryers and tumble dryers. Norwegian trials have shown that when consumers see product running costs as well as initial cost they are more likely to buy energy efficient models. It is estimated that the more efficient models could cost up to £900 less over a lifetime.

A UK Government spokesman said: “Although there are existing European labelling requirements on energy use, these are reported in kWh per year, rather than in estimated monetary terms for the life of the product… Indeed, consumers in many purchasing situations focus on the initial cost as opposed to the lifetime running costs. Better information would mean better consumer decisions.”

The move is part of a package of measures announced by the Government that could cut energy use by 11% by 2020. Around £40m will be given to five End Use Energy Demand Centres to research how to change consumer and business behaviour. Greg Barker, the Energy and Climate Change Minister, said the savings in energy efficiency could save the UK 196TWh in 2020, equivalent to output from 22 power stations.