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Last Updated: Monday, 19 March 2007, 13:05 GMT
Call for new energy rating labels
More information on energy use is required says the NCC
Shops are failing to tell customers about the energy consumption of many electrical goods, a report claims.

The National Consumer Council (NCC) found only one out of 350 electronic goods such as TVs and DVD players carried an energy efficiency sticker.

The NCC called on businesses to use a labelling system like the current one for fridges and washing machines.

The NCC also claimed that little help was offered to shoppers by web sites and telephone helplines.

"You would not expect to buy a car without knowing how much petrol it consumes, yet shoppers buying a television, for example, will have little idea how energy efficient it really is," said Larry Whitty, chair of the NCC.

"We want to see government and industry working closely together to shed some light on this matter," he added.


The NCC's survey, at 10 stores, looked at 350 different items such as TV sets, set-top boxes, DVD players and laptop computers.

These were on sale at branches of well known chains such as Comet, Curry's, PC World, Sainsbury's and Tesco.

But only one item - a TV set sold in a branch of John Lewis - carried an energy efficiency label.

The NCC research found that hardly any information was provided by the stores themselves, in the form of leaflets, or by the retailers' web sites.

The main exception was that of Sony whose helpline did supply some information.

However RETRA, the trade body for electrical retailers, defended its members

"The information is actually available in the manufacturers' instruction books on a large number of occasions," said Mike Floodgate of RETRA.

"But at the moment there is no Government regulatory requirement to inform customers on labels for domestic electronic equipment as the industry does for white goods, such as washing machines, fridges and dishwashers," he added.

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