EU energy saving laws mean consumers should be getting more energy efficient televisions, fridges, microwaves and other everyday products. Unfortunately, manufacturers of 1 in 5 products we tested aren’t following the rules and retailers are failing to label products correctly on around half of all products we checked. MarketWatch is a Europe-wide campaign to identify the products and companies flouting the rules, and thereby pushing up home energy bills and adding to global warming.

 

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What is MarketWatch?

Sixteen civil society organisations from all across Europe have come together to form MarketWatch. By launching a thorough and sustained campaign testing everyday products in shops and online, MarketWatch has turned a spotlight on those manufacturers and retailers failing to follow EU regulations and depriving their customers of energy savings. We have carried out 737 store inspections, in the highstreet and online, in three phases, checking 103,000 products to see if they are correctly labelled. We also carried out 100 simplified and 27 full lab tests of products, with results applicable in 10 Eu countries. Individual results can be found in our Product & Shops Report section, and you can read our final retail report here, and our final product test report here. National results are also published for France, Germany, Austria, Denmark, the Czech Republic and UK, Poland, Italy, Spain and Portugal. We aimed to make this kind of work easier for other civil society organisations in future. A suite of resources and reports have been created to assist organisations wishing to do similar work. Visit our Resources section for more.

Why this campaign?

European ecodesign and energy labelling rules require many products to stick to energy consumption limits, as well as other environmental criteria. Market surveillance helps ensure a level playing field for manufacturers and traders, which in turn helps reduce our energy bills.

It is estimated that the Ecodesign Directive alone could save Europe €90 billion a year by 2020, that’s around €280 for every household in the EU. The climate is another big winner when the rules are being followed, with this campaign standing to prevent two million tonnes of CO2 from destabilising our climate each year. Unfortunately, it seems this isn’t always the case…

 

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A lack of market surveillance

Formal market surveillance activities vary in vigilance from country to country. It is estimated that up to a fifth of savings are lost because as under-performing and inaccurate products get onto the market and into our homes. This leads to a lot of wasted energy, about 100TWh each year in fact, equal to the entire residential electricity consumption of Central and Eastern Europe, as well as higher energy bills for all of us. MarketWatch complements the work being done by national authorities. We will share our findings and build bridges to help regulators pinpoint problem areas.

 

How is the project funded?

We are co-funded over a three year period by the Intelligent Energy Europe Programme of the European Union. The sole responsibility for the content lies with the authors. It does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the European Union. Neither the EACI nor the European Commission are responsible for any use that may be made of the information contained therein.

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Media enquiries, please email Jack Hunter.