It was a privilege for me to host the voluntary retailer initiative event – a commitment by leading UK retailers to stop selling energy wasting TVs.

Eight leading retailers – Best Buy UK, Comet, Co-operative Electrical, DSGi (Currys and PC World), John Lewis Partnership, Home Retail Group (Argos), Marks & Spencer, and Sainsbury’s   have voluntarily joined a new scheme -jointly launched by ourselves and the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) – to remove the least energy efficient TVs from their stock, and educate shoppers about the benefit of buying an energy efficient TV.

The commitment means that all televisions sold by these companies will meet new minimum efficiency standards at least a year in advance of the EU introducing these regulations for all retailers in July 2012. We are also working with industry to encourage other retailers to follow suit and voluntarily sign-up to join the initiative.

Commenting at the launch of the initiative, Environment Minister Dan Norris MP said:

“I’m pleased that so many of our leading electrical stores have made this commitment to remove the least energy efficient TVs from their shelves. There is more work to be done to further improve the energy efficiency of these products but, with a World Cup around the corner when we know some people will be thinking of buying a new TV, it’s great for them to know that the models sold by these retailers will save them money on their energy bills and help the environment.”

From my perspective, the facts are simple – the worst performing 42" televisions on the shelf today can cost around £75 a year to run whereas an equivalent sized energy efficient (Energy Saving Recommended accredited) TV only cost £33 a year to run. That means customers choosing to buy an Energy Saving Recommended television over a poor performer could shave around £340 off their electricity bills over the lifetime of the TV (and over a tonne of carbon dioxide).

With many people likely to invest in a new television for this summer’s World Cup, the timing of the retailer commitment could not be better. Our estimates predict that 1.6 million TVs will be sold in the run up to the World Cup final, so we will be working hard to help support retailers communicate and market the energy saving initiatives to their customers.


VRI group photo 

Bottom row from left

Jack Cunningham, Environmental Affairs Manager, Sainsburys.

Alison Stephens, Business Standards Manager, DSGi

Lucy Shaw, Head of Responsible Sourcing, John Lewis Partnership

Paul Davies, Assistant Marketing Manager – Vision, Comet


Top row from left

Philip Sellwood, Chief Executive, Energy Saving Trust

Dan Norris MP, Environment Minister, Defra

deVere Forster, Managing Director – Online, Best Buy

Roger Panton-Kent, Head of Quality Assurance, Home Retail Group