We’re nice, reasonable people here at Energy Saving Trust HQ. We like to think of the Energy Saving Trust Recommended logo as a blue-toned friendly face of the organisation, guiding you as you buy appliances, gadgets and home improvement measures so you get the best in class for keeping those bills and emissions down.
Nice, yes? Put up with slackening standards? Not a chance.
People’s behaviour in the home is absolutely central to making the British home less carbon-heavy. To keep on top of cutting carbon emissions, we keep on top of what people buy to put in their homes – and indeed, where the top of the range really lies.
Of course, the top percentile changes all the time: to say the market is fast-changing is an understatement. New products are being designed all the time as energy efficiency standards improve, so the numbers crunched behind our logo are constantly being revised and re-evaluated to make sure they keep on pushing companies to design products that suck less Watts out of the grid.
One way we do this is by testing products, of course. Because we’re all about real-life performance, we take standard product testing and building additional fitness criteria on top – but that’s for another post. Before we get to that stage, we have to vet all the products that are presented to the scheme…
First, every product application includes evidence proving that the product meets our standards. This can be a declaration from the manufacturer, or sometimes copies of certificates from other certification schemes – like the Energy Label, window energy rating certifying, or BBA. Sometimes we ask for full test reports from an independent third-party testing service accredited by a body like UKAS. All very pukka.
Every product application and every piece of evidence that comes through our crack team is thoroughly checked by three different people before it is approved. And every time we update our requirements, based on following that top one per cent, we request updated information on every affected product to make sure they are still eligible.
Ultimately, it doesn’t pay companies to make false claims about how much energy their products use – markets are dependent on trust, and if something isn’t living up to the promises on the packaging, customers will soon find it out.
And after all that, don’t think we just rest easy once the Energy Saving Trust Recommended label is there for all shoppers to see. Oh no – we do our own investigations to make sure there are no bad apples on our beat.
We do this not by playing bad cop, but simply by calling in products for compliance testing. If products fall short, they run the very real risk of having the label peeled right off – though we’ll always look to work with manufacturers to try and help them hit the required energy saving standards before we start getting all heavy-handed.
Firm but fair, we’d like to think. In fact, we think we’re definitely the good cop.
We’re aiming to make this into a mini-series of blogs about Energy Saving Trust Recommended. If there’s any aspect of the label you’re curious about, let us know and we’ll try and cover it.