MarketWatch has spent three years investigating whether home appliances are as energy efficient as they claim and whether retailers are fulfilling EU obligations to label products correctly.
We investigated the most suspicious product groups to measure how bad the situation could be, rather than a scientific sample to measure the state of the market as a whole. We ran 100 products through modest check tests before putting the 26 most suspicious through full independent lab tests. The results gave an alarming picture, with 1 in 5 of the appliances checked failing EU energy efficiency rules.
The labs found a vacuum cleaner using 54% more energy than claimed, a refrigerator 12% over, and a TV measuring an energy class lower and with a required power down feature deactivated.
Homeowners may find some results surprising and others frustratingly familiar. A dishwasher was found needing two runs to clean dishes properly; an LED 20 percent less bright than advertised; and a tumble dryer blocked from powering down by a single light remaining on in its dashboard.
Read our press release here.
Read our full report here.