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Published on March 1st, 2021 | by The GC Team

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AMDEA measures up as new energy labelling launched for MDA

Today (March 1), as a new set of energy labels is launched to signpost the most energy efficient large domestic appliances, the Association of Manufacturers of Domestic Appliances (AMDEA) is publishing a position paper 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.

AMDEA argues 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.”

Appliance technology has brought huge gains in efficiency, to the point where energy ratings of washing and refrigeration products were, literally, off the scale with A+ to A+++ ratings, added to accommodate increased efficiency levels in a market where the most frequently purchased fridge freezers, for example, use 40% less energy than those in homes just a decade ago. The majority of products are rated A+ to A+++ on the old system, giving no headroom for future innovations.

A revision of the rating scheme has removed the plusses and spread the classifications more evenly from A to G, with space left 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. 

AMDEA has published an 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. As much as 14%of the UK’s electricity consumption spent on domestic washing and refrigeration, but AMDEA research shows that although consumers recognise the importance of environmentally friendly options and the energy saving potential of choosing well, price remains the prime influence on buying decisions.

Other data, says AMDEA, suggests that UK households are running more than 9 million cooling and washing appliances that are over ten 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.

AMDEA also recognises that many purchases are made by businesses. These might be landlords, both social and private, housing associations or grant-providers who help people without essential home appliances to buy them. “These organisations could also be persuaded to buy more eco-efficient appliances to help further in reducing emissions, along with builders and developers who increasingly provide kitchens fitted with appliances.”

AMDEA chief executive Paul Hide acknowledges that it is a “sensitive time” for many UK businesses and consumers, and proposes that a carbon-conscious government should take the lead. “Across all price points,” he says, “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.”

Survey results show that most respondents were receptive to the idea of buying more efficient appliances if there were incentives to do so: 84% would be influenced to buy a more costly yet efficient model if a grant or discount were offered. Cash discounts (92%), or VAT free purchase (78.8%), were the biggest incentives to motivate people to purchase an initially more costly but more efficient model. 

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