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Government Aims to Overtake the EU in the Energy Efficiency of Its Appliances

September 15th, 2020

Last updated: January 18th, 2023

The Government is undertaking wide scale consultation to establish how the UK can overtake the EU in the energy efficiency of its domestic appliances. Now the UK has left the EU, a raft of potential measures is due to be discussed as the conversation turns to the UK’s energy efficiency and how it can meet its net-zero emissions goal.

Attentions at BEISS – the Government department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy – are currently focussed on domestic appliances. And they say consultation will surround energy labelling and other factors such as recyclability and reparability – with the aim of producing an ‘ecolabel’ for each product – and with consultation set to end in early September, clear aims and plans are expected soon.

However, with the extensive use of commercial boilers and other high energy usage in the commercial sector, it is expected that commercial energy usage will increasingly come under the microscope as new regulations boost BEIS’s goal to go “further than the EU” in tackling climate change.

Driving Down Carbon Emissions

A BEIS statement said: “The UK government is working with businesses to set ambitious new climate friendly standards for electrical appliances, overtaking the current EU regulations to drive down household carbon emissions and cut people’s energy bills after the end of the transition period. After January 2021, the UK will be able to set much bolder ambitions on energy standards than the current EU regulations allow for.”

And Minister for Energy & Clean Growth Kwasi Kwarteng added: “Improving energy efficiency standards of the fridges, ovens and washing machines we all rely on will help save consumers money on their energy bills, while helping us meet our zero emissions target by 2050.”

So views are now being sought from commercial organisations and consumers on how to formulate new standards for electrical and gas products such as boilers, heaters, fridges, cookers and lighting products, the ultimate aim being that they use less energy and last for longer.

Smart Appliances to Save Money

Consultation also aims to explore the potential for smart appliances to react to changes in the price of electricity. The idea being that energy usage can be adapted automatically in response to such signals, in order to save money for consumers, both domestically and commercially.

In terms of energy efficiency, energy labelling could also include information such as lifetime energy costs, according to the BEIS. The costs of running products, reparability, re-usability, recyclability and durability are other sources of information which could be included at the point of purchase. This would aim to encourage users to seek better energy efficiency in their products and therefore monitor and reduce their everyday usage. And naturally this applies in equal measure to the commercial sector as well as for domestic usage.

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