20 August 2010

Northamptonshire County Council’s trading standards service has successfully prosecuted an electrical retailer for advertising and selling chest freezers with incorrect energy ratings.

At Northampton magistrates court today (Friday 20th August) John Gillman and Sons (Electrical) Limited of Gloucester pleaded guilty to six offences contrary to regulation 9 of the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations (2008). They were fined £5,400 with costs of £9,400.14

In February 2009, trading standards test purchased three Ice King DM-35 chest freezers as part of a joint project with Defra to look at energy labelling.

The appliances were advertised online at www.gillmans.co.uk as having a B energy rating, but arrived with labels showing an A+ energy rating and an energy consumption of 215 kilowatt hours per year.

Subsequent tests carried out on the appliances found that the actual energy ratings of the appliances were E, F and E respectively and that on average the energy consumption was 382 kilowatt hours per year – some 77% higher than shown on the label provided with the appliance.

The Ice King brand is solely owned in the UK by John Gillman and Sons (Electrical) Limited. The appliances were manufactured in China.

Councillor Andre Gonzalez de Savage, county council cabinet member for customers and communities said: “I am pleased that trading standards have been able to take this action.

“It appears that the company did not ensure that relevant checks were carried out to verify that the information from their suppliers was correct and as such, they advertised and sold chest freezers which displayed false energy rating information.

“This meant that consumers were led to believe that they were choosing a product that was more energy efficient and cheaper to run than was actually the case, at a cost to both the consumer and the environment.”