STANDARDS Link Vol 2 Issue 15 - Making Informed Purchasing Decisions


Making Informed Purchasing Decisions


As a beneficiary of the Eastern Caribbean Energy Labelling Project (ECELP) the Saint Lucia Bureau of Standards (SLBS) has expanded its testing capacity through the addition of a new laboratory for comparative energy consumption analyses. The new laboratory allows the SLBS to test refrigerating equipment which further supports the SLBS’ compliance program for energy efficiency labelling standards.

The new test facility aims to address issues related to information about the electricity consumption of electrical appliances and of lifetime cost of an appliance versus the mere purchase cost.

Saint Lucia is predominantly a consumer market and ensuring consumers have access to comparatively high quality products is dependent on the availability of not just regulations but the relevant infrastructure to support the regulatory framework.

The SLBS’ energy efficiency program recommends that retailers display energy efficiency labels on electrical products. With the addition of the laboratory the SLBS can validate energy efficiency labelling claims to ensure consumers are not misled and accurate information is provided.

Energy efficiency – doing more with less energy – benefits you and your family. Every appliance comes with two price tags: what it costs to take it home and what it costs to operate and maintain each month. Energy efficient appliances significantly reduce the cost to you later. The benefits of energy efficient appliances include:

  • Lower Utility Bills

Appliances account for nearly 20 percent of the average household’s energy use. Newer energy saving appliances have more efficient designs which make them less expensive to operate as compared to older models without these energy saving capabilities. When choosing an appliance with an energy efficiency label, you can determine how much energy you save on a monthly basis before making the purchase. Although most energy efficient appliances cost more than their counterparts initially, they save the consumer more in the long run, as a lower monthly utility bill over the lifetime of the appliance will offset a higher purchase price. In addition, the latest resource-efficient clothes washers do not only save electricity; they also use a lot less water and can reduce your water bill.

  • Benefits the Environment

The majority of energy produced today is a direct result of combustion of fossil fuels. Through its conservation, energy efficient appliances reduce the depletion of fossil fuels and carbon dioxide emission. If we wish to protect our environment and check global warming and ozone depletion, embracing energy-efficient appliances is a small, but necessary step.

  • Enhances Quality of Life

Energy efficient appliances require lesser maintenance and replacement, as compared to their older counterparts making them more convenient for home use. Example: an energy-efficient bulb lasts a lot longer than your ordinary fluorescent bulb. 

Improves the Economy

Energy efficiency can have a positive impact on the economy. The cumulative savings of homeowners translates to increase deposable income. The resulting increase in spending can in turn result in positive macroeconomic effects including:

Job creation

Reduced energy related public expenditures

Energy security 

Macroeconomic effects - increases in GDP




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