Online retailers worst for omitting product energy information

Online retailers across Europe are far behind bricks and mortar shops in providing information about the energy performance of domestic appliances, according to findings released today (24 July) by the Energy Saving Trust (EST).

EST found that 62% of products sold online in the EU failed to include energy consumption information. In the UK the record is even worse, with 90% of products missing key information or with information in the wrong format.

This picture is reversed in traditional retail where the UK outperforms the average with 80% of products correctly labelled compared with 77% across Europe as a whole.

MarketWatch, a market surveillance programme managed by Energy Savings Trust, studied 68,000 energy using products across Europe for the survey.

EST product certification manager Tom Lock said: “”With rising energy bills, an increasing number of consumers are starting to consider the energy performance of products to ensure lower energy bills through products that perform more efficiently in the home.

“It’s encouraging that nearly all retailers are now displaying some form of information about the energy performance of products. However, the biggest problem is missing information on the label or information in the wrong format which means consumers are either confused or not fully-informed before they make a purchasing decision.

“This was a particularly big problem for online retailers, with nearly two-thirds of products displayed in the shops we checked not containing the half a dozen vital pieces of information about energy performance.”

The survey also found that fridges and televisions were some of the best labelled products, with 62% correctly labelled but just 18% of air conditioners and 29% of electric ovens were correctly labelled and were the worst performers both on and offline.

Information gap

EST has promised to work with retailers to address the information gap, with the introduction of new online Energy Labelling Regulation taking affect from 1 January 2015. It has also called for a change in the energy ratings system to a simply A to G rating scale.

Lock added: “Between 80 and 90% of consumers say that the internet has some influence on their purchasing decisions, so we see this online ‘energy information gap’ as a big problem and will be using these results to work with online retailers and stores to ensure they display the full correct information on their products.”

Matt Field

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