|GREEN WASH DAMAGING THE CLIMATE CHANGE RESPONSE
|Wednesday, 12 November 2008 12:04
Over the last couple of years an increasing number of businesses are offering green products in response to the climate change challenge.
A growing number of these businesses are, however, making greatly exaggerated claims as to the climate change benefits of these products. Buyers are finding themselves disappointed and feeling duped when the products are purchased, and are thus much less likely to buy products that provide genuine benefit.
According to energy efficiency engineer Bruce Rowse, of CarbonetiX, “I have been astounded at the patently false claims put forward by some suppliers of ‘energy efficient’ lighting technologies. Two examples that have recently come to my attention come from the suppliers of T5 adaptors – these are products that convert the commonly used 25mm fluorescent tube (T8) to a 16mm (T5) fluorescent tube. One supplier claimed ‘40% less energy and 40% less light’ – yet our testing showed that while the energy consumption was 40% lower – so too was the useful light output. Most people do not like working in an under lit office, even if it is saving power! And just this week I learnt of another supplier who claimed that the typical double fluorescent light fitting in an office produces more greenhouse gas than a car does in a single year – and put this forward as a reason to justify purchase of their product. The problem is that this claim is totally wrong. Even were the fluoro fitting to be an old inefficient one and ran 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, rather than just office hours – even then it still wouldn’t even produce one third of the emissions a car does in a year. Those who buy this product will find their greenhouse savings are actually only around 10% of what has been inferred by this supplier”
“Climate change is a serious problem requiring an urgent response, and energy efficiency is an important part of this response because investments in energy efficiency save both carbon and money. The problem is that suppliers aggressively touting products with false claims give the whole energy efficiency industry a bad name. And this is damaging our collective response in Australia to the climate change challenge, because those companies which have been “burnt” are likely to be too sceptical to implement solutions that actually do deliver the greenhouse savings that have been promised” said Mr. Rowse.