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Do energy labels mean what they say?

When you buy a freezer with an ‘A’ energy label, you expect it to be just that and perform accordingly. So finding out that another company had been prosecuted for misleading energy labelling, didn’t fill me with joy. It did, however, give me some reassurance that the checking up of energy performance claims is being taken seriously. This is especially true when the company in question, Icetech, who incorrectly labelled their Norfrost Freezer (C4AEW) an ‘A’ when rigorous tests by the National Measurements Office (NMO) found it to rate as a ‘F’, is still claiming on it’s website that their ‘range has been developed to be the most energy efficient freezers in the World’. And that the Energy Saving Trust has designated a selection of their appliances as “Energy Saving Partners”. Something I could find no reference to on the EST website. Under the same investigation by the NMO in 2010, an Ice-king chest freezer, manufactured in China, but sold in the UK by John Gillman and Sons, was mislabelled as A+ (B on the web), but performed as an ‘E’ or ‘F’ in tests. see Sust-it’s press release.

Do we trust energy lables

So who cares if these products are mislabelled, if we’re getting a bargain? Well, not only are these appliances creating more CO2, their lifecycle running costs could end up costing the consumer up to £200 more to run. Both the models mislabelled were sold at the lower end of the market, making them attractive on price, especially if the shopper thinks they are comparing them with other ‘A” rated models. This is a real issue and let’s hope that businesses take note, particularly as the government has announced plans to ensure that the Green Deal won’t rip off consumers. And that Icetech have learnt from there £12,000 fine and £28,000 costs and have, as they state is the press release carried out a “…. complete reassessment of production and testing procedures”.

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