The UK government said it will implement tighter rules for how much energy white goods like washing machines and fridges use, helping save Britons £75 ($104) a year on their energy bills.
The move comes at the same time as 15 million UK households are expected to see their energy bills rise more than £90 after Ofgem lifts the price cap in about three weeks’ time.
The new cap will come into force from 1 April this year. This means that for six months from April, the price cap will increase by £96 to £1,138 for 11 million customers on a standard dual-fuel energy tariff, and by £87 to £1,156 for 4 million prepayment meter users.
Meanwhile ministers are set to introduce “tough new rules” for electrical products to tackle ‘premature obsolescence’ — a short lifespan the government said is deliberately built into an appliance by manufacturers which leads to unnecessary and costly replacements for the consumer.
From this summer, manufacturers will be legally obliged to make spare parts for products available to consumers for the first time, so that electrical appliances can be fixed easily.
The move is expected to extend the lifespan of products by up to 10 years, “preventing appliances ending up on the scrap heap sooner than they should and reducing carbon emissions at the same time,” the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy said in a statement.
The UK generates around 1.5 million tonnes of electrical waste every year, it said.
The changes will set higher energy-efficiency standards for electrical products which will save consumers an average of £75 a year on energy bills.
They will also cut 8 mega tonnes of carbon emissions in 2021 by reducing the amount of energy products consume over their life-time.
Meanwhile, from 1 March, new energy labels have also been introduced which simplify the way energy efficiency is displayed on a new scale from A-G.
“Now the UK is an independent nation outside the EU, the EU emblem on energy efficiency labels has also been replaced with the Union Flag,” the government said.
Climate change minister Lord Callanan, noted that “the new energy labels we have introduced this week will help consumers make more informed decisions about how eco-friendly one smart TV or dishwasher is over another, helping us reduce our carbon footprint and build back greener.”
Head of International Collaboration at Energy Saving Trust, Emilie Carmichael, said: “Simplifying the way energy efficiency is displayed on labels will help consumers to make more informed choices to reduce their energy consumption and bills. Equally, every small step that consumers take in choosing the most efficient appliances will help the UK in reaching its net zero targets.”
In November last year prime minister Boris Johnson set out his ten point plan for a green industrial revolution.
Covering clean energy, transport, nature and innovative technologies, Johnson said his blueprint will allow the UK to eradicate its contribution to climate change by 2050, particularly crucial in the run up to the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow next year.