Trade association Intellect’s Consumer Electronics Council has joined the British Retail Consortium, retailers and ministers to draw up the details of the scheme – which is particularly targeting set-top boxes.

Minister for Climate Change Joan Ruddock said: “In 2006, consumer electronics used 15% of the UK’s total domestic electricity consumption.

“If we do nothing, that could double by 2020. But switching to more efficient products and taking the least efficient products off our shelves will cut CO2 emissions and save people money.

“We need to start the switch-off for inefficient electronics.

“We want to work with everyone involved in producing and selling these products to make them more efficient and I’m pleased that the major manufacturers have joined the ambitious work programme to look at what can be done – which is starting by looking at set top boxes and standby levels.”

Ms Ruddock emphasised the importance of working with the industry to take forward Government plans to improve performance standards and promote energy efficient choices to consumers.

Ministers aim to slash carbon dioxide emissions from products such as televisions and stereos by up to one megatonne a year – the equivalent of taking a million cars off the road.

The initiative is expected to set clear targets in the next few months and participants will look at ways to analyse the energy efficiency of consumer electronics products, starting with set-top boxes, and to consider how a significant reduction could be made in standby energy use.

The work is being lead by the British Retail Consortium, in partnership with the Government, the Energy Saving Trust, retailers and manufacturers.

Kate Martin

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