Shoppers should be able to keep tabs on how much a washing machine or fridge costs to run for a year under plans to help families curb energy bills. Ministers will ask stores to display the annual electricity costs for white goods and appliances on price tags. This would bring them into line with car retailers, who reveal the average fuel consumptionfor new vehicles.
The move comes after the Department for Energy and Climate Change warned that consumers could be buying into a false economy by choosing cheaper goods that were more expensive to run. Chris Huhne, the Energy Secretary, will today urge retailers to come clean on the running costs of televisions and fridges before they are sold.
He will also ask retailers to include the running costs of washing machines and kettles on the price tag. The best washing machines are a third of the cost to run as the least efficient, while buying an inefficient fridge can add £20 to an annual power bill. The differences can add up to hundreds of pounds when applied to all household electrical goods.
Appliances usually have a colour-coded energy rating, but they don’t display the running costs over the year, unlike the labels on new cars. (Daily Mail 9/3/11)