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Efficient household appliances key to cutting home energy demand

AMDEA, the UK trade association for manufacturers of domestic appliances, welcomes the Government's latest proposals to cut domestic electricity demand across the UK, but warns that substantial reductions will only be possible if policies include significant incentives to encourage the uptake of the latest generation of high efficiency domestic appliances.

AMDEA's Time to Change Campaign has long argued that domestic appliances should be included in energy saving initiatives such as the Green Deal, which up until now have focused exclusively on heating and improvements to the fabric of buildings.

The Government consultation document published alongside the Energy Bill recognises that in the residential sector, the greatest potential for reduction in energy demand is in switching to efficient appliances and electronics. Yet the biggest challenge is getting these high efficiency appliances into the homes of the energy vulnerable, who most need the savings.

Major advances in domestic appliance technology in recent decades has halved the energy consumption of new fridge freezers and reduced that of chest freezers by almost two thirds. Nevertheless, there are still around 15.4 million old appliances (10 years or very much older) in use, according to the last official estimates (Market Transformation Programme, 2007).

"We urge the Coalition Government to introduce incentives or rebate schemes to encourage consumers to replace old appliances with new eco-models," says Douglas Herbison Chief Executive of AMDEA. "This will have a fundamental role to play in cutting the amount of electricity used in Britain's homes. Such financial incentives would reach out to UK consumers who are still in the dark about the dramatic energy-saving potential of new appliance technology."

To capture the full power saving potential of these efficient machines, AMDEA also believes that incentives have to go hand-in-hand with consumer education. The Association recently commissioned a pilot study, by the University of Surrey, which found that even the relatively environmentally-aware are still unclear which energy saving actions really impact on their consumption and bills. For example, participants were surprised that in addition to savings by replacing appliances simply switching to a lower temperature on a washing machine cycle yielded up to a 60% energy saving.

"Our industry has worked long and hard to produce cutting edge, high efficiency appliances and we look forward to helping consumers to reap the benefits of this technology and hope to be a key player in working with the Government to achieve its ambitious target of cutting the UK's electricity demand," says Douglas.

T: 0207 722 9034

30th November 2012

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