by Staff Reporter
THE Balearic government is preparing to hand out 80 euros to every consumer who buys a Class A domestic appliance such as fridges, freezes, washing machines and dishwashers.

Class A is the range which uses least energy, and although they are generally more expensive to buy than other models, in the long run they lead to greter savings.

The 80-euro pay out is part of a new campaign to save energy in the home, and it has an initial budget of half a million euros.
Details were announced yesterday by Josep Joan Cardona, the Balearic minister of trade, industry and energy.
He said that the chief purpose of this type of aid is to “raise awareness” of the population about the benefits which acquiring energy saving habits bring to the environment and to their pockets.

This means, he said, buying domestic appliances which consume 55 per cent less energy than average consumption.
Cardona pointed out that domestic energy consumption accounts for 12 per cent of total consumption in the Balearics, and so “it is of vital importance to promote saving and a rational use of energy among householders.” The idea is not new, and it has proved to be very popular in the past.
This year, it will run from September 19 to November 19 and one of the novelties is that a brochure will be distributed to shops listing other domestic appliances and articles used in day to day living which, although they do not qualify for a subvention, have also been classified with a “minimum energy consumption” seal.

Cardona said that the main purpose was to help the family economy and the environment, as by purchasing these domestic appliances energy consumption is reduced significantly, and so is the emission of contaminating gases in the atmosphere.” He stressed that the benefits to the family economy are “immense”, as a Class A domestic appliance, even though it costs more than others, uses less electricity so that “throughout its lifetime, the saving will compensate the extra cost two to three times over.” During last year's campaign, consumers purchased more than 6'200 domestic appliances. Forty-five per cent were washing machines, 21 per cent dish washers, 29 per cent fridges and four per cent freezers.

The campaign is part of the Regional Energy Efficiency Plan drawn up by the ministry of trade, industry and energy to reduce energy consumption by one per cent a year.

HOW TO BENEFIT l Shops which back the scheme will give the buyer a voucher giving details of the purchase. l The buyer then takes the voucher to one of the banks which is collaborating, and will be paid the 80 euros. l At the moment, 231 shops in the Balearics (186 in Majorca, 15 in Minorca and 30 in Ibiza and Formentera) are backing the scheme.