Press release

Save energy & cash this winter

This news article was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Secretary of State Edward Davey and retailer John Lewis launch energy efficiency labelling trial.

  • Edward Davey and John Lewis launch energy efficiency labelling trial.

  • Army of around 500 volunteers to help consumers compare, switch, save and get the help they need.

Energy Secretary Edward Davey and John Lewis today flick the switch on a product labelling trial that puts the lifetime electricity running costs on washing machines, washer dryers and tumble dryers.

This will enable people to better understand how energy efficient products can bring real savings to household bills.

Just by choosing a more energy efficient washer dryer when replacing an old appliance, consumers could save over £500 on its lifetime energy costs.

Separately, as part of the Government’s move to help consumers reduce their energy bills and cut energy waste, Edward Davey has secured agreement to train around 500 volunteers through the Big Energy Saving Network.

84% of people have not switched energy supplier in the last year, missing out on savings as high as £158 on their energy bills. This army of volunteers will help some of the most disengaged consumers to switch and get better deal.

Some of the most vulnerable people across the country, including the poorest pensioners, are also not aware of how they can get help through schemes to help heat their homes and cut their energy use. The Network will raise awareness of how vulnerable consumers can get this help.

Speaking at the launch of the new labelling scheme at John Lewis in Oxford Street, Edward Davey will say:

“In the past, people have had no idea how much their appliances will add to their energy bills.

“Now consumers will be able to see clear, simple information on the lifetime electricity costs for appliances like washing machines and tumble dryers. This will help people to make better, more informed decisions and see how much an appliance is expected to cost over its lifetime.

“Just by choosing a more energy efficient washer dryer when replacing an old appliance, consumers could save over £500 in lifetime energy costs. This shows the serious savings that are possible when you buy energy saving goods.

“This new trial with John Lewis – one of Britain’s biggest high street names - will help raise consumer awareness of energy running costs. I hope it leads to more retailers rolling out clearer labelling.”

Stephen Cawley, Head of Sustainability at John Lewis, will add:

“The new labelling is designed to provide customers for the first time with lifetime running costs of washing machines, tumble dryers and washer dryers, so that they are able to make more informed decisions and comparisons when purchasing new models. We are look forward to reviewing the results of the trial next year and seeing how customers respond to new more transparent labelling around the energy efficiency of these products.”

Edward Davey will also say:

“Many people across the country will already be thinking about getting ready for the winter ahead.

“We’re doing our bit by working with our partners in the Big Energy Saving Network to help people get their bills down and keep their homes warm – before the clocks go back.

“An army of around 500 volunteers will be trained to provide advice and practical help to the most vulnerable about how to keep warm and access the help that is available. This will help create a legacy of savvy switchers, giving households all the information they need to engage with energy suppliers and seek out the best deals.

“This comes on top of radical reforms to bring people simpler and clearer energy bills, to cut the number of tariffs on offer and to make suppliers take customers off poor-value dead tariffs on to the best deal for them.”

This winter:

  • 230,000 homes will be cosier this year by getting energy efficiency measures installed under the Energy Company Obligation.

  • 2 million households will get help under the Warm Home Discount – including well over a million of the poorest pensioners who will receive £135 off their electricity bill.

  • Between £100 and £300 is available tax-free to help pay your heating bills if you were born on or before 5 January 1952 under the Winter Fuel Payment.

  • Cold Weather Payments will remain at £25 per payment for the duration of this Parliament. In 2012/13 5.8 million Cold Weather Payments were made at a cost of over £146.1 million.

  • Changes to energy bills will make them simpler, clearer and fairer, helping the 84% that don’t switch and could be missing out on savings of up to £158; and

  • Consumers will now be directly compensated if energy companies misbehave.

Notes for editors:

  1. Edward Davey will be at John Lewis’s store at 300 Oxford Street on Monday 9 September from 0845hrs. To attend the event, please contact the DECC press office on 0300 068 5218 (Monday to Friday) or 020 7215 3505 (evenings and weekends).

  2. The £900,000 Big Energy Saving Network co-ordinates and provides advice on switching, tariffs and government support to help the poorest get warmer homes and lower bills. Members of the Big Energy Saving Network are Citizen’s Advice Bureau, Energy Saving Trust, Age UK, ACRE (Action with Communities in Rural England), Community Energy Contact Group and NEA (National Energy Action)

  3. The government is using the Energy Bill to back Ofgem’s moves to make the retail energy market simpler, clearer and fairer.