AMDEA is calling on the Government to provide incentives to stimulate the contribution high efficiency fridges, freezers and washing machines can make to UK ambitions for a low carbon future.
As a new set of energy labels are launched today (1 March) to signpost the most energy efficient large domestic appliances, the Association of appliance manufacturers has published a position paper arguing that with an estimated 83 million domestic cooling and washing appliances in use in the UK, even modest measures, helping individual households or businesses to opt for the most efficient products available, can make a big impact on reducing overall energy consumption and CO2 emissions.
AMDEA said that vast improvements in appliance technology have reduced running costs and sent the energy ratings of washing and refrigeration products off the scale.
Currently the most frequently purchased fridge freezers use 40 per cent less energy than those in homes a decade ago and with the majority of products rated A+ to A+++, the system lacked headroom to allow for further innovations.
A revision of the rating scheme has removed the plusses and spread the classifications more evenly from A to G. Deliberately leaving space at the top of the scale, from today, the same high efficiency models of fridges and washing machines will primarily be rated between C and F.
With as much as 14 per cent of the UK’s electricity consumption spent on domestic washing and refrigeration, AMDEA has published an engaging online guide to help householders understand the new labels and encourage them to choose wisely, both for their budget and the impact on the environment.
However, new research for AMDEA has revealed that currently cash concerns trump environmental considerations for private appliance buyers. Price was the top priority for the majority (64.5 per cent), even though over a third (37 per cent) believe that when choosing products environmental impact mattered more to them than a year ago and a similar 36 per cent claim to have always placed importance on sustainability.
Other data suggests that UK households are running more than nine million cooling and washing appliances that are over 10 years old, built at a time when machines were far less efficient. In the survey when asked about replacing their oldest appliances, one in four said they could not afford to replace them.
While the industry urges households to buy as high on the rating scale as they can afford, Paul Hide, Chief Executive of AMDEA, recognises that it is a sensitive time for many and proposes that a carbon-conscious Government take the lead.
He said: “Across all price points, AMDEA members deliver high performance low carbon products. Compared to other home improvement schemes, incentivising the purchase of high efficiency appliances is simple to deliver and control.
“It can also help many families to reduce their monthly expenditures as we strive to navigate a post-COVID world, while placing the UK in a pole position on environmental initiatives.”