The Energy Saving Trust, a non-profit company set up by the Government and major energy companies, launched the Energy Efficiency Recommended logo on 23 October, which will now be appearing in electrical appliance stores across the UK. At the same time, the company released the results of a survey which found that, although the British want to look after the environment, in practice they don’t know how.

Despite 79% of Britons claiming to have ‘an environmental conscience’, the survey reveals that only 3% consider the environmental impact of an appliance as the most important consideration when shopping, only 8% considered its energy efficiency to be the key factor and that two out of three consumers have ‘no idea’ what sort of energy savings can be made.

The Energy Saving Trust says that an energy efficient appliance can reduce the average electricity bill by as much as £45 pounds a year. “We spend more than £4 billion a year running the lights and appliances in our homes. Yet one in three of the people we questioned didn’t even know how much their own electricity bill was,” commented the BBC Presenter Alice Beer, who was involved in the launch of the logo.

With strong support from manufacturers and retailers, the blue and orange label is appearing on energy efficient fridges, washers, dryers, dishwashers and light bulbs. Two thirds of those surveyed said they would look for the label when buying appliances. Presently, over half of all consumers still depend on the shop assistant for information about the running costs and the energy efficiency of appliances, the Energy Saving Trust said.

“The eye-catching logo is the easiest way to help consumers make a more informed choice. It’s like a beacon beaming ‘energy efficiency’ – it means you’ll save energy, money on your bills, and help save the environment,” Beer said.

“Clearly people see the environment as important,” said Eoin Lees, the Trust’s Chief Executive commenting on the survey. “But they haven’t made the link between switching on an appliance, the energy it uses, and the carbon dioxide that it sends into the atmosphere. We could fill Wembley stadium 5000 times every year with the CO2 we create running our washing machines, dryers, dishwashers and fridge-freezers!”

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