EU ready to roll out new vacuum cleaner rules

New EU rules mean new vaccum cleaners must not exceed 80 decibels. [Shutterstock]

New EU rules on vacuum cleaners come into force next month, as Brussels looks to improve energy efficiency and cut carbon emissions.

A new energy label that cuts maximum decibel levels to 80 and wattage from 1,600 to 900 will come into force in September, affecting all models made or sold in the European Union.

Retailers will be allowed to continue selling models that fall foul of the new rules beyond the September deadline but only until stocks run out. Appliances like handheld cleaners and floor polishers are exempted.

The European Commission claims that choosing a more efficient cleaner could save consumers over €55 during the course of the appliance’s lifecycle.

Eighty decibels is much quieter than many vacuum cleaners, which have been found to emit 95 decibels and over. Eighty-five decibels is considered the “action level” where ear protection, like ear plugs, is recommended.

From next month onwards, the most efficient vacuum cleaners will be able to display an A+++ rating, based on power and dust-busting efficiency.

New energy labels for appliances seen as boon for consumers

The European Parliament approved on Tuesday (June 13) the introduction of new energy labels for household appliances, which MEPs and industry experts said should enable consumers to save money and cut energy consumption while helping the bloc reduce overall carbon emissions.

The new rules follow an earlier energy label introduced in late 2014, which decreased maximum wattage to the current 1,600 and introduced the A-G rating system.

That rule change was a rallying point for anti-EU campaigners, particularly in the United Kingdom, who have often cited it as an example of alleged over-involvement by Brussels in day-to-day life.

The Commission admitted last year that negative media coverage and the so-called ‘Hoovergate’ had contributed to its decision to not include toasters and hairdryers in the new set of rules.

Commission won’t regulate toasters or hairdryers after Hoovergate scandal

The European Commission today (8 November) defended its decision not to consider hairdryers and toasters for green regulation, but admitted that negative headlines about meddling Brussels bureaucrats had influenced the executive’s thinking over Ecodesign rules.

The UK government has said it will transpose EU law into domestic law as part of the Brexit process but it is unclear if this regulation will be retained. British lawmakers will debate the so-called great repeal bill in the autumn.

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