Appliance maker Electrolux wants political support to introduce incentives aimed at replacing old refrigerators and dishwashers as a means to cut greenhouse gas emissions. Chief Executive Hans Straberg said that company research suggested that 18 million tons in carbon dioxide emissions could be saved in Europe if consumers replaced old appliances with newer, energy-efficient refrigerators, washing machines, and dryers.
"This is not a small amount, it equals to about 6% of the Kyoto Protocol" objectives for greenhouse gas reductions the European Union has signed up to, Straberg said.
About one-third, or 188 million of the current 630 million appliances in European homes were more than 10 years old, Straberg said, adding that the saving for consumers in Europe was worth 34 billion kronor (approx. US$5.3 billion).
The replacement would benefit the company's bottom-line, but was also a "win, win, win" situation, he said, citing the benefits for consumers in lower energy bills and long-term effects on the environment.
Straberg did not spell out what sort of incentives he would prefer, but said the home appliance market could perhaps introduce a system comparable to that of the automotive industry.
Straberg said 80% of a dishwasher or refrigerator's energy usage was linked to the consumer's home, while production accounted for 15%.
Straberg said the group aimed to reduce energy use in plants and offices by 15% as of 2009, offering savings of 100,000 tons of carbon dioxide. (EarthTimes.org)