EST to mystery shop energy-efficient appliances

19 Feb, 14

Up to 20% of products claim to be more energy efficient than they are

According to the Energy Saving Trust, one in five energy-using products across Europe do not match their efficiency claims, and will now mystery shop and test manufacturers to eliminate misleading claims.

It follows findings from European Commission-funded research which revealed up to 20% are non-compliant with energy standards such as energy labelling.

The Energy Saving Trust will independently purchase and test energy-using products, including household appliances, across Europe to verify the energy saving claims made by manufacturers.

It forms part of surveillance programme, known as MarketWatch, which will take place over three years and will carry out over 300 inspections in shops and 300 in online stores, checking a total of 25,000 products to see if they are properly labelled.

The MarketWatch programme is supported by 15 other partners across 11 EU member states and the European Commission has pledged to support research into the areas of energy efficiency products and labelling.

Chief executive at the Energy Saving Trust, Philip Sellwood said: “From our perspective, it’s clear that any labelling needs to be accurate, easy for the consumer to understand and displayed clearly in retailers across Europe. What we will be doing through our work is established how improved market surveillance, energy efficiency labelling and product standards can have the most impact and ultimately lead to greater savings for the UK consumer.”

He continued: “Through our 13 years’ experience of product labelling, endorsement and testing, we intend to lead the UK’s effort in helping consumers choose the best products that will save them the most money in the long-term.”

Chief executive at the Association of Manufacturers of Domestic Appliances (AMDEA), Douglas Herbison said: “AMDEA supports having regulations consistently reinforced by the appropriate product standards across the EU. This means all domestic appliances sold in the EU member states have to meet the same technical requirements as other products within the same product category.

“The market surveillance and enforcement for energy labelling already happening across Europe is vital in ensuring that product’ energy efficiency claims conform to these requirements.”