The Conservatives in the UK will propose banning plasma screens and other energy-guzzling electrical goods in a report to be unveiled next week. The proposals target white goods like fridges and freezers, as well as TVs, personal computers and DVD players that use too much energy or operate on stand-by. The ideas come from a Conservative group set up by David Cameron to develop policies to protect the environment and although the measures to make household electrical appliances more energy efficient are not binding on Mr Cameron, they are thought likely to be warmly received by the Tory leader.
The group will also suggest scrapping Gross Domestic Product (GDP) as a measure of the nation's success in favour of a model that measures people's happiness drawn up up by Friends of the Earth. Under the proposals, a cap could be set on the energy use of each electrical appliance, and those exceeding limits could be banned from sale in the UK. A new labelling requirement could be introduced to inform consumers of products' annual energy consumption compared with other similar appliances. And there could be a ban on electrical goods with stand-by lights which can stay on indefinitely. Some 2 per cent of Britain's total electricity use is currently taken up by appliances left on stand-by rather than being switched off.
The proposals are set to be unveiled on Thursday in the final report of the Tories' Quality of Life Policy Group, chaired by former Environment Secretary John Gummer and green activist Zac Goldsmith, a Conservative spokesman confirmed. Prime Minister Gordon Brown has already announced his ambition to "eliminate" the stand-by function on appliances, which was blasted by the Government's energy review last year as a waste of electricity. The report is expected to focus on plasma-screen TVs as particularly wasteful of electricity, and it is thought that many models would fall foul of proposed energy cap unless dramatically more efficient technology is developed.
Householders are also expected to be offered tax cuts potentially worth thousands of pounds to make their homes more energy-efficient. Mr Gummer warned: "We live in a joined-up world and yet we organise our lives in silos. The imperative of global warming demands that we change that approach utterly - not just governments, but businesses, groups and individuals."
News source: The Sun