Home appliance manufacturers advised to test eco-buttons

2nd July 2018
Alex Lynn

Eco-buttons have the ability to save consumers time and money, but this cannot be at the cost of efficacy. SGS offers a range of services to help prove the effectiveness of the eco-button. With consumers only replacing home appliances every ten to twenty years, manufacturers must find ways to give consumers incentives to replace products more regularly.

The ‘eco mode’ is the latest innovation designed to get consumers to upgrade their appliances. It is popular with buyers because it promises greater efficacy and decreased running costs. An ‘eco mode’ may reduce energy consumption, shorten operating times, or use less heated water, and is therefore both a positive for the cost conscious and environmentally aware consumer and a justification for the manufacturer to charge a premium price.

Energy efficiency is the primary concern of many eco-buttons and it can contribute greatly to reductions in household running costs. On average, household appliances account for 13% of total home energy costs but energy efficiency programs, such as ENERGY STARTM, and ‘eco mode’ domestic appliances have helped to greatly reduce domestic energy usage, for example, ‘eco mode’ household refrigerators have reportedly contributed to a 60% reduction since 2000.

The problem is, not everyone uses their eco-button, even when they have it. This is because some ‘eco modes’ are seen by consumers as less efficient. When consumer expectations are not reached by the eco-button, they cease using it. Complaints have included television sets that are barely visible, clothes dryers that produce damp clothing, and dishwashers that leave food on the plate. For end consumers the option is either to run the eco-cycle again or stop using it.

Because ‘eco modes’ differ and many fail to meet consumer expectations, some brands have achieved great success by creating products that match and exceed expectations. ENERGY STARTM has also begun promoting better performance through the inclusion of minimum performance parameters among some appliance type’s specifications.

Manufacturers and suppliers of household appliances must ensure their products comply with or exceed expectations, or risk disappointing consumers, which will ultimately damage a brand’s reputation. SGS offers bespoke independent performance testing for household appliances. Their set performance testing parameters and product benchmarking act as a guide, which manufacturers can then adjust, allowing them to test the product in the way they want.

Utilising independent third party performance testing services gives manufacturers the confidence to know they are supplying high quality products that meet expectations on performance and protect reputations.

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