West Midlands MEP Anthea McIntyre is backing new labelling rules to help customers choose low-energy "white goods" such as cookers and fridges.

The new rules making energy-labelling much more simple and clear were voted through by the European Parliament in Strasbourg.

The existing system includes the rankings A+, A++ and A+++  - so a product with an A rating may be one of the most inefficient and expensive to run. The new labels will give ratings from A to G.

The legislation also introduces a publicly-available product database to help people make choices based on more than just purchase cost. It is anticipated that these new calculations can be factored into price-comparison websites and apps.

Miss McIntyre, Conservative MEP for the West Midlands, said: "The current system is thoroughly confusing: Shoppers can't work out the gradings and manufacturers can't clearly demonstrate the efficiency of their products.

"The new system is clear, accurate and simple. People will be able to identify the clean and green choices straight away. No longer should they get a nasty surprise when their so-called bargain ends up costing them a fortune in energy bills."