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UK government asked to introduce household appliance scrappage scheme

The British Retail Consortium (BRC) has today called for the UK government to introduce a car scrappage style program for household appliances such as fridge freezers, dishwashers and similar items. The BRC believes that allowing older household appliances to be effectively scrapped in return for a discount on new equipment will not only reduce CO2 emissions by up to 1.3 million tonnes a year by 2020, but introduce a new trend in energy-efficient equipment in the home.

As well as a potential scrappage scheme the BRC is also asking the UK government to remove VAT on energy-efficient equipment which would obviously increase the likelihood of a surge of business at Christmas. The idea would cost the UK government £507 million a year in lost VAT receipts but compared to the VAT reduction across the board which was introduced last December this would be the equivalent of just two weeks lost income.

It is alleged that for example a modern fridge freezer uses less than 50% of the energy used by a 1995 model which could hardly be deemed old. When you consider some of the older models which may be in circulation across the UK, the energy efficiency benefits of a potential household appliance scrappage scheme starts to make sense.

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