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Press release
Brand and Customer Experience|Belgium|English

Only 1 in 4 Belgians know that the purchase price of a refrigerator amounts to just 20% of the actual cost

Leuven, 19.04.2017

Today Recupel launches the website “zuinigekoelkast.be” (economy fridge). This website should help the Belgians to reduce both their energy consumption and ecological footprint. “A study carried out by GfK revealed a lot of interesting issues”, says Suzanne Dautzenberg from GfK. “98% of Belgians indicate that being energy efficient is important to them, yet few know the proportion of a refrigerator's energy consumption within the family's total energy consumption”. Most Belgians also don't know that the purchase price of a refrigerator is only 20% of the actual cost, and that the remaining 80% are electricity costs. The aim of the website is to provide the Belgians with information, including an online energy consumption calculator, so that he/she can make an informed decision benefiting both the environment and his/her wallet.

“Zuinigekoelkast.be”: is the name of the website that provides more information about the use and consumption of a refrigerator; an electrical appliance located in nearly every Belgian's home. In fact, 25% of the population have more than one of them in their home. When choosing a refrigerator, energy consumption and price appear to be the biggest factor. 70% prefer an energy-efficient appliance to reduce their electricity bill, while 30% consider the environmental reasons.

“Purchase price and consumption are indeed two very important factors, but few know that energy consumption is by far the largest contributor to the cost”, says Suzanne Dautzenberg. 80% of the actual financial and ecological cost of a refrigerator are electricity costs when using it, the purchase price only represents 20%. The online calculator on the website allows you to check the energy consumption of a refrigerator and calculate how much can be saved by switching to a more energy-efficient refrigerator. A refrigerator with energy label D, replaced by a refrigerator with energy label A +++ can mean, for example, an annual saving of €139 and 80% fewer CO2 emissions. The calculator is an effective tool that will result in a win-win decision from both an ecological and an economic perspective.

The GfK study also indicated that 72% of Belgians know how to dispose of their refrigerators. “A good result, but needs to keep rising”, says Peter Sabbe, CEO of Recupel. “And it's also very important for us that the consumer knows what happens to their appliance after it has been disposed of.”. Refrigerators that are less than 10 years old are welcome at the recycling centre (De Kringwinkel) for re-use, otherwise they go to a specialist recycler. First they are stripped of harmful substances, which is an important stage for refrigerators, and then they are crushed. Finally, the different raw materials are separated and 85% of a fridge is thereby processed into new raw materials.

About the study

The online survey was conducted with 1500 Belgians aged 18 and above and ran from 15 March to 20 March.
The results were weighted and are representative of the Belgian population 18+.

About Recupel

The non-profit association Recupel ensures that electrical and electronic appliances that have been disposed of are collected and processed in a sustainable and cost-efficient way. Recupel was established in 2001 for and by producers and importers of electrical and electronic equipment in Belgium. The financial resources that they receive through Recupel go exclusively to the organisation and promotion of collection and recycling of old electrical equipment. In 2016, Belgium collected and processed more than 10kg of electrical and electronic equipment per inhabitant, making it one of the most advanced countries in the field of electro-recycling. Recupel works closely with various industry associations and authorities, and is constantly looking for innovative ways to increase the amount of collected electrical waste in Belgium. More information is available at www.recupel.be.

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