simply efficient shopping

Have you bought a new TV in the last three years?

It seems lots of us have, given that an astonishing 30 million TVs have been sold in the past three years, according to Ofgem. And this is when we are in a recession.

Almost 22 million televisions have received a CERT subsidy

Another little known fact, is that energy suppliers could claim savings under CERT (Carbon Emissions Reduction Target), for subsidising televisions which had a built in digital tuner and a screen size of less than 22 inches. OK the carbon saving the energy suppliers could claim was small, around 0.15 tonnes of lifetime CO2. I can only guess what funding was given, but this amount of CO2 for other measures would typically see a subsidy of between £1.50 and £2.

In total almost 22 million televisions have received a CERT subsidy over the last three years which Ofgem claims “implies CERT has helped drive a significant uptake of energy efficient TVs in GB households”. Really? How many people stood in the store and chose a TV because it had a whopping £1.50 subsidy through CERT, how many even knew? And how many people instead purchased a TV with an integrated digital tuner because of the digital switchover?

A sceptic may conclude that over the past three years most of the TVs on sale had a digital tuner, so consumers had little choice but to buy one. With the analogue signal being switched off, surely most would opt for a digital-ready TV when upgrading? And not many of these TV would be a household’s main TV, more likely a TV for the bedroom, kitchen or even bathroom, or maybe for hotels and businesses, so I can’t imagine that CERT has had much to do with the driving their sales. Perhaps more incentives to encourage  consumers to buy energy efficient appliances generally, linking with manufacturers and retailers, would have had more benefit.

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