Many of our members’ appliances are powered by electricity from the mains. As such, they are clean and usually very quiet in use – but electricity generation itself is far less clean, producing various pollutants and greenhouse gases especially from the burning of coal, and, to a lesser extent, gas in power stations across the country.
The Government has an ambitious goal of reducing carbon dioxide emissions by 80% by 2050.This will be met in part by ‘decarbonising’ the electricity supply by minimising the use of fossil fuels and in part by ever-greater energy efficiency.
We are conscious of, and support, efforts to reduce electricity consumption in our appliances. After space and water heating, these account for approximately half of the electricity used in UK households.
Our members’ investment in research and development has greatly reduced appliances’ energy consumption in recent years. The most dramatic drops have been in the ‘cold appliances’ such as fridges, freezers and fridge freezers that have fallen by over half in the last 20 years.
Source: ONS/DECC Energy Consumption in the United Kingdom
Cutting electricity consumption can make a dramatic difference to the cost of using the appliances, especially as the price of electricity has been rising. The Time to Change website demonstrates the savings that can be achieved by replacing an old and inefficient appliance with a new one – so cutting costs and cutting greenhouse gas emissions go hand in hand.
It is also worth noting that other energy sources are also used to power domestic appliances and the new EU Energy Labelling Regulations for tumble dryers and for ovens will cover gas-powered appliances as well.