When we buy Christmas presents we usually do not consider how much power they will use or how much the gift will cost to run during it's lifetime.
From next year, John Lewis is going to display the lifetime running costs of electrical goods.
This is part of a wider government initiative to cut down energy use in households in a bid to tackle climate change. The government wants to reduce energy use by 11 per cent by 2020 as part of the Energy Efficiency Strategy. Awareness of energy efficiency is now considered a priority in order to meet the target.
Electrical goods are currently rated from A - G in terms of energy efficiency with A being the most energy efficient.
This is great news for consumers researching future electrical purchases as it not only helps in the choice of an eco product, it also shows the true cost of running it. There is a marked difference in running an energy efficient product against a non-energy efficient product - you only have to look at the cost of running a tumble dryer!
This move is likely to change the way we use electrical appliances in our home - the cost of boiling a kettle is far higher than turning on the TV, yet we don't consider the overall cost of running appliances we take for granted in our homes such as washing machines, fridges and dishwashers. Choosing the most energy efficient model available could save you hundreds if not thousands of pounds during its lifetime. With A+, A ++ and A +++ now available on such domestic appliances there is no need to be spending more than what you need to on its running costs.
The running costs of most electrical items are overlooked at the time of purchase - a good indication of how much power will be required is to take a look at the cable - a thicker cable indicates a higher power requirement. Consider if you can use an alternative and if not switch off at the wall when not in use.
Less efficient devices tend to be cheaper to buy and more expensive to run. As consumer behaviour changes, it is likely that expensive energy inefficient products will be taking a back stage to make way for energy efficiency.
If you are buying an electrical gift this year remember that the eco versions of many normal appliances will often be more attractive to look at and in general are a more appealing present. You are not only giving the recipient the item itself you are also going to be saving them money for many years to come.
So remember an electrical gift isn't just for Christmas it should last a good few years.