EU energy labelling changes 'waste of time'

EU plans to change the system of energy efficiency ratings on goods such as fridges and lightbulbs will confuse consumers, the Energy Saving Trust has warned.

Buying efficient freezers, washing machines and ovens can cut carbon emissions and save consumers money and in the UK 87 per cent of people recognise the current system of A-G colour-coded ratings.

But the EU is considering proposals to change the labelling system, a move criticised by Energy Saving Trust (EST) chairman Edward Hyams who urged "if it ain't broke, don't fix it".

A poll of 7,000 people across the UK and other European countries for the Energy Saving Trust showed that nine out of ten recognised the simple A-G ratings for products.

The research also found that seven out of ten found the current system much easier to understand than other schemes being considered by Member States.

Proposals under consideration could involve changing to a system involving numbers, with higher numbers representing products which saved more energy.

This could allow for the introduction of even higher numbered ratings when more efficient products came on the market.

But Mr Hyams said the widely recognised A to G rating should remain, with the standards manufacturers need to meet to get the top grade tightened regularly.

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