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UK sets out ambition to ‘overtake EU’ on energy efficiency of domestic fridges and other appliances – Refrigeration and Air Conditioning

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Call for evidence seeks views on higher standards and factors such as repairability

The government says that it wants to overtake the EU on energy efficiency of domestic appliances, now that it has left Europe. Government department BEIS says the current consultation on energy labeling and energy efficiency for domestic appliances from fridges to ovens could result in more efficient products.

At the same time, the government is exploring whether other factors such as recyclability and repairability should be included on the ‘ecolabel’ for the appliance. The consultation and associated call for evidence has a deadline of 4 September.

The current ambition is focused on domestic appliances, but commercial refrigeration and other high users of energy are expected to be in the government’s sights, as it looks towards a net-zero emissions goal.

BEIS promised yesterday that new regulations ‘will see the UK go further and faster than the EU to tackle climate change.’

It 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.”

Views are being sought from both businesses and consumers for their views on how best to set new standards for electrical and gas products like fridges, cookers and light bulbs, so they use less energy and last longer.

Minister for Energy and Clean Growth Kwasi Kwarteng said: “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.”

At the same time, the consultation will explore the potential for setting requirements for smart appliances which can automatically adapt their energy usage in response to signals, such as the price of electricity, to save consumers money.

Energy labels are another area for improvement, BEIS added, with options under consideration including displaying the lifetime energy costs at the point of purchase. Changes could also include additional information such as the cost of running a product, its repairability; re-usability; recyclability; and durability.

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