A new report published today, “Promoting highly efficient electrical appliances”, calls on the Government to help the public replace their old appliances and cut their energy bills by up to £75 a year.
The Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) estimates that enabling the purchase of energy efficient appliances could save the nation the equivalent power generated by 1,500 wind turbines or the proposed Hinkley nuclear power plant.
The report was commissioned by the environmental charity Global Action (GAP) and supported by AMDEA (The Association of Manufacturers of Domestic Appliances). The report highlights that incentive or scrappage schemes have proved highly successful in transforming the uptake of efficient appliances in many other countries.
AMDEA chief executive Douglas Herbison (pictured) agrees that Government energy policy should pick off the simple solutions first: “We endlessly debate the virtues of wind power, nuclear and fracking. Vast sums have disappeared into schemes, like the Green Deal, to improve the fabric of homes, while comparable savings can be made at a fraction of the cost and hassle by replacing old inefficient appliances. Consumers could use a little help in the form of Government incentives or financial subsidies. Given the gains to the environment, it would be a small and sensible price to pay for a massive eco-saving.”
The current challenge is to ensure that the existing stock of old appliances is phased out as soon as possible.
Further points raised by the report include:
· £2 billion per year could be saved in total UK household appliance energy bills, increasing to a potential £3.8 billion by 2030 – as a result of reductions in the amount of investment required in low carbon generation to decarbonise electricity supply.
· While the average amount of electricity consumed by white goods appliances across the EU has dropped from 265kWh per year to 246kWh from 2005 to 2010, over the same period there was no improvement in the UK, with the average amount of electricity consumed by each appliance remaining at an average of 265kWh per year.
· Other governments worldwide have successfully promoted efficient appliances, including schemes resulting in consumers being rewarded with credits, directly deducted from their personal tax payments since 2005 in France, if they purchase efficient appliance models; consumers received cash rebates from the Government if they purchased an efficient appliance in the US, from 2009 to 2012; and in Brazil, low income consumers least able to afford a new appliance, were offered a free energy efficiency appliance as a replacement for an old model from 2008 to 2010.