Which product groups will MarketWatch put through exhaustive lab tests to see if they truly are as efficient as their energy labels claim? Why is MarketWatch even testing when this is a job done by government departments? Tom Lock certification manager at the UK’s Energy Saving Trust, takes us through the next stage of the MarketWatch programme – what it will entail and the products that will be tested.
A few years ago the European Commission recognised the need for an extensive market surveillance of energy-using products after research showed that one in five products across Europe were presenting misleading energy saving claims.
Over the next year or so, MarketWatch will test on two levels: a screening of ten product groups for signs that products do or don’t meet energy efficiency legislation, such as Energy Labelling and Ecodesign Directive rules, and in-depth lab tests.
From September, the screening of 100 products investigating their energy performance will begin. This will cover tumble dryers, dishwashers, washing machines, televisions, vacuum cleaners, domestic lighting, set top boxes, electric ovens, fridges and the horizontal standby off-mode. Screening tests have been devised by MarketWatch then peer-reviewed by outside experts to ensure they are as robust as possible.
Following the screen testing, we will then select 20 products for the full laboratory testing. These products have not yet been confirmed but we’re keen to make sure that they resonate with consumers as ‘iconic’ home appliances. We will be using a number of Europe’s finest specialist laboratories for this stage, with these labs being selected based on its suitability for the different product groups.
During this phase of the project, we will be liaising with government agencies to ensure we complement their work rather than repeat it. We’ll also be encouraging them to make use of our results. We will engage with firms shown to be selling products that do not meet their energy label claims, and we reserve the right to name them as a deterrent for others, something national authorities themselves do.
We are confident we can count on the backing of industry groups like CECED, whose head earlier this year called for better market surveillance. This will ensure a more level playing field to benefit the majority of firms complying with the law.