The EU-funded study has found that consumers are being misled by 20% of energy-using products that are claiming to be more energy efficient than they actually are.

Estimates show that around 10% of potential energy savings are being lost by millions of products across Europe, including ovens, fridges, washing machines, dishwashers, televisions and computers.

Tackling the issue, the Energy Saving Trust will be independently purchasing and testing energy-using products across Europe to verify the energy saving claims made by manufacturers.

This is part of a product surveillance programme, known as MarketWatch, to ensure products are fully compliant and match their energy saving claims in real-life situations.

The three year programme will carry out more than 300 inspections in shops and 300 in online stores, checking a total of 25,000 products to see if they are properly labelled.

To verify the true energy efficiency of products, 100 partial lab tests will be carried out, followed by 20 independent lab tests.

Energy Saving Trust chief executive Philip Sellwood said: “Consumers are wising up to the monetary savings of using the best and most efficient products – they’re trying to do the right thing but need to be rewarded properly through the savings stated being realised.

“We need to address the fact that consumers across Europe are not maximising the energy saving benefits stated by millions of products,” he added.

Sellwood said there is an “obvious need” to recoup any potential savings through establishing more rigorous market surveillance and standards across energy efficient products and labelling.

Leigh Stringer

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