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Published on March 10th, 2021 | by The GC Team

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Electrical appliances to be cheaper to run and last longer with new standards

Tighter rules for how much energy white goods such as washing machines and fridges as well as TVs can use will help save British consumers £75 a year on their energy bills under plans for new energy efficiency legislation announced by the UK Government today (Wednesday 10 March)

Ministers are set to introduce tough new rules for electrical products to tackle ‘premature obsolescence’, which the Government describes as “a short lifespan deliberately built into an appliance by manufacturers which leads to unnecessary and costly replacements for the consumer.”

From this summer, manufacturers will be legally obliged to make spare parts for products available to consumers for the first time – a new legal right for repairs – so that electrical appliances can be fixed easily. The move is expected to extend the lifespan of products by up to 10 years – preventing appliances ending up on the scrap heap sooner than they should and reducing carbon emissions at the same time. The UK generates around 1.5 million tonnes of electrical waste every year.

The changes will also set far higher energy-efficiency standards for electrical products which, overall, will save consumers an average of £75 a year on energy bills. They will cut 8 mega tonnes of carbon emissions in 2021 by reducing the amount of energy products consume over their lifetime.

Business and Energy Secretary, Kwasi Kwarteng, said: “Our plans to tighten product standards will ensure more of our electrical goods can be fixed rather than thrown on the scrap heap, putting more money back in the pockets of consumers whilst protecting the environment.

“Going forward, our upcoming energy efficiency framework will push electrical products to use even less energy and material resources, saving people money on their bills and reducing carbon emissions as we work to reach net zero by 2050.”

On 1st March, new energy labels were introduced which simplify the way energy efficiency is displayed on a new scale from A-G. As the vast majority of appliances have been classified as A+, A++ or A+++, these new labels will improve the old system by raising the bar for each class, meaning very few appliances will now be classified as A.

The Government said the changes will provide more accurate information on energy efficiency, incentivising manufacturers to go further.

“They are also designed to encourage consumers to buy more energy-efficient products, and boost people’s confidence in the environmental credentials of the products they are buying.”

The Government is also today publishing a summary of responses to a recent call for evidence on energy-related products, which explored the scope for introducing even more ambitious climate-friendly policy for energy-consuming appliances now the UK has left the EU transition period.

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