A free web app will now allow consumers to compare and choose the most energy-efficient home appliances and cut energy bills.

A consortium of NGOs has launched a new web app, known as PocketWatt, that tells consumers how much an appliance costs to run, enabling them to compare both the running costs and the energy savings of similar models.

The tool covers refrigerators and freezers, washing machines and driers, dishwashers and air conditioners. It is currently available in the Czech Republic, Germany, Italy, Spain and the UK.

Consumers can access the app via the PocketWatt website and use their smartphones’ camera to scan the QR code on a selected product both online and in-store.

The groups said in a statement that the app will enable them make comparisons between models, identifying the best option for their household and lifestyle.

The aim is to encourage consumers to buy more energy-efficient appliances, and make the energy label easier to understand and more readily available, they said.

Energy efficient appliances help cut carbon emissions by preventing wasteful energy use. These appliances also help consumers cut their energy bills, performing the same services such as cleaning clothes and dishes, but doing so with a lot less energy.

A number of large and small retailers and manufacturers are working with the consortium to enhance and expand the impact of the project, including Whirlpool.

Karim Bruneo, EMEA Corporate Responsibility and Government Relations officer at Whirlpool, said:

“In line with our commitment to developing high-performance appliances that conserve the earth’s resources and help homeowners do the same, we’re glad to support the Digi-Label consortium in driving the consumer awareness about energy efficiency and sustainability.”

Research by Google found that 75% of shoppers already use smartphones to compare prices, and 1 in 3 use them to find information online instead of asking a shop employee.

Speaking on behalf of the consortium, Katie Searle, Project Manager at the Energy Savings Trust, said:

According to the European Commission, every home in Europe is projected to save nearly €500 per year by 2020 thanks to more efficient products. PocketWatt is here to help facilitate and accelerate this transition, and generate even more savings for consumers.