Whilst there are lots of issues that need addressing with energy labels. They are still your only yardstick (apart from Sust-it) to the energy efficiency of products. And one often forgotten aspect of them is that they should be displayed wherever you purchase a product, whether it’s from the high street or an online shop.
A survey published in the National Measurements Office (NMO)* Annual Enforcement report, has highlighted that 30% of high street traders are displaying energy labels that are inaccurate when compared with the manufacturer’s information. Even more shocking is that 56% of online retailers are failing to display full energy information!
Sust-it takes its information from manufacturers websites, as we’ve noticed retailers website information is often wrong! Occasionally this has thrown up some inaccuracies with manufacturers in the past. In one case a Sust-it user selected the most efficient fridge freezer, this was a Candy CCS5166w 204.4 KWh (£28.23) at the time, which he bought from an online retailer, only to discover when it arrived that it used 288 KWh (£41.18) that’s £12.95 more electricity per year than Candy had displayed on their site. Luckily the online retailer refunded him and Candy amended their website and so did we!
Another problem area is home branded appliances, or brands that are only available from specific retailers, such as John Lewis appliances and TV’s, here we have to rely on their website energy information. Again, through our research we have highlighted discrepancies. We spotted some incredibly efficient John Lewis branded washing machines only to discover they were mislabelled! To be fair, one phone call to a knowledgeable white goods buyer at John Lewis and the information was corrected straightaway.
Our advice is to check and double check that retailers energy label information is correct, if it’s not there complain, ask why it’s missing. You’re within your rights to complain to Trading Standards if labels are wrong or missing. And when your goods arrive please check that the energy labels match what you ordered, if not send it back. These rules also apply to advertising so if you spot any mis-representations the Advertising Standards Authority will be interested to hear from you.
*NMO are the body responsible for the market surveillance of energy labelling information