Government unveils plans for energy efficiency legislation

The government is planning to make electrical appliances last longer and save more energy, while costing consumers less, through new legislation.

On 10 March, it responded to its consultation on Ecodesign and Energy Labelling Regulations for a range of industrial and domestic energy-related products. The government reported strong support for its proposals across all of the energy-related products in question, which could potentially lead to energy savings of 21.5TWh and 1.7MtCO2e by 2050. BEIS is now planning to lay the regulations before Parliament with the implementation targeted by the summer.

The changes will see higher energy efficiency standards for electrical products, saving consumers an average of £75 a year, cutting 8 mega tonnes of CO2 equivalent in 2021. Furthermore, manufacturers will be legally obliged to make spare parts available to consumers for the first time, allowing electrical appliances to be more easily fixed, potentially extending their lifespan by 10 years. The move should reduce the 1.5mn tonnes of electrical waste the UK generates every year as well.

New energy labels have also been introduced, as from 1 March 2021, simplifying the way that energy efficiency is displayed through a new scale of A to G. The changes look to provide more accurate information on energy efficiency, incentivise manufacturers to go further, encourage consumers to buy more energy efficient products and boost confidence in the environmental credentials of products being bought.