CLARE County Council is to ask government to call on the EU to introduce a clearer system for consumers assessing the cost of purchasing environmentally-friendly products and retrofitting their homes.
It follows the tabling of a motion from Councillor Pat McMahon who said the situation in terms of accessing independent information on costs and savings was a major problem for consumers.
“We are facing into the future with many options available on environmentally-friendly cars and other products to save energy in the home,” the Fianna Fáil member noted. “The biggest problem is the scarcity of independent assessors. For example, it’s difficult to get an accurate idea of how the savings that something like triple-glazed windows would produce over ten years. It’s the same for other items that can be retrofitted to save energy.”
When it comes to motoring, the Newmarket-based councillor said the situation was also confusing for the consumer. “There are many options available now when it comes to cars, from hybrids to Electric Vehicles (EVs),” he said. “What is needed is clarity on the long-term cost savings. This is a minefield to try to figure out.”
The motion was seconded by Councillor PJ Ryan who said consumers needed more information. “There should be a greater emphasis on labelling to inform the consumer,” he said. “The very smallest print often refers to the most crucial information such as the CO2 emissions of a car. The Building Energy Rating (BER) Certificate is a useful thing, but the consumer needs more initiatives like that.”