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Online Guide To Climate-friendly Goods Launched – New List Shows Appliances’ Footprints

Cheung Chi-fai, SCMP – Apr 02, 2009

A green group has called on electrical appliance manufacturers to provide more low-carbon-emission products for the global market, after the publication of the first local guide on climate-friendly goods.

The online guide, launched by WWF Hong Kong yesterday, lists 300 models of nine popular electrical appliances that have low carbon footprints, are made under more than 50 brands and are available on the local market.

It offers information on annual energy consumption, efficiency, carbon emissions and price references for climate-conscious shoppers.

There are also tips on the wise use of appliances.

The information was collated from data obtained from manufacturers and energy labelling schemes in Hong Kong, the United States and Europe.

“All those models in the guides are low carbon emission, but we won’t tell people how to choose as we have given them the tool to make their own choices,” said William Yu Yuen-ping, the head of WWF’s climate programme.

The appliances covered include air conditioners, compact fluorescent lamps, refrigerators, televisions, water heaters, rice cookers, laptop computers, printers and game consoles.

Dr Yu said the first six types of appliance already accounted for 85 per cent of total household electricity consumption, which grew by 34 per cent between 1990 and 2005.

The guide would fill the gaps in Hong Kong’s energy efficiency labelling scheme, which has so far made labelling mandatory only on air conditioners, compact fluorescent lamps and refrigerators.

Consumers using the guides are advised to decide what their priorities are because they might have to compromise.

For instance, the most climate-friendly model will often not be the cheapest, while the one which offers the highest energy efficiency will not necessarily be the one which consumes the least energy.

Dr Yu said it was time for individuals to act and exert their influence on the market.

“If there are demands from the public, manufacturers will be motivated to produce more low-carbon appliances.

“Let’s get started in our daily lives instead of just relying on the politicians to do something for us,” Dr Yu said, citing the Copenhagen climate conference to be held later this year.

Wat Hong-keung from the Hong Kong and Kowloon Electric Appliances Trader Federation welcomed the guide, but said consumer awareness about energy efficiency had improved in recent years.

“Many of them pay great attention to energy efficiency in case they have two choices of similar quality and price,” he said.

“But they are normally motivated by saving money rather than saving the world.”

The guide can be seen online at

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