EU ban on powerful vacuum cleaners prompts anger legal challenge

deeageauxAugust 22, 2014

Which? tells consumers to buy now as Best Buy cleaners fall foul of EU energy label that prohibits motors above 1,600w

Consumers are being urged to buy powerful vacuum cleaners while they can after it emerged that some of the most powerful models on the market will disappear in September when a new EU rule comes into force.

An EU energy label, to be introduced from 1 September, means manufacturers will not be able to make or import vacuum cleaners with a motor that exceeds 1,600 watts.

The Which? consumer group said many of its Best Buy models had motor sizes that exceeded this, "so if you're in the market for a powerful vacuum, you should act quickly, before all of the models currently available sell out". The wattage will be limited to only 900 watts by 2017 further restricting choice. Current cleaners typically boast an average of 1,800 watts.

Which? warned that many of the models that appear in its Best Buy tables have motor sizes in excess of the new limit.

Of seven awarded Best Buy status since January 2013, five have motors of more than 1,600 watts. A Best Buy 2,200w vacuum costs around 27 pounds a year to run in electricity around 8 more pounds than the best-scoring 1,600w it has tested.

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That sucks :)

    Bookmark   August 22, 2014 at 5:07PM
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Is this all the EU has to worry about?

    Bookmark   August 22, 2014 at 6:26PM
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A 15 amp 120v circuit in the U.S. shouldn't carry more than 1,500 watts. A 20 amp 120v circuit could do 2,000 watts.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2014 at 8:46PM
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I wonder why they would enforce such a rule for vacuum cleaners. I rarely vacuum more than 15 minutes at a time, so it isn't as if I'd be wasting a huge amount of energy by using a few more watts for 15 minutes.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2014 at 8:52PM
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Our consumer magazine tested several "eco" vacuum cleaner and many did a good job. It largely comes down to how well the unit is designed.

Vacuum cleaner EU energy labelling explained

New energy label for vacuum cleaners

    Bookmark   August 22, 2014 at 9:51PM
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More efficiency with equal performance cost money.

The standard Miele vacuum motor is 1200 watts.

The 2017 standard is 900 watts.

We know how unsophisticated energy hogs Miele produces. They will need to improve their efficiency by 25%. I can only wonder what it will do to prices.

Miele cat and dog S8380 vacuum cleaner is $949.

Do we get the new 900 watt motors in 2017? Or can/will Miele make the 1200 watt for export outside the EU?

    Bookmark   August 23, 2014 at 6:42AM
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davidrt28 (zone 7)

I'm all for sensible environmental regs, but, really? Isn't it obvious that if you weaken a vacuum enough, you're just going to need more energy in the end? Having to vacuum for 10 minutes with a 900 watt model is the same as vacuuming 5 minutes with a 1800 watt model.

It's like standard low flush toilets - I call them 2 flush toilets.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2014 at 6:55AM
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The best vacuums from the January 2014 issue of our consumer magazine pulled 870 to 1340 watts while ranging from 140 to 200 Euros.

The only vaccums to ever achieve "very good" dust removal were to ones with a power head - such as a 700 watts Vorwerk canister (plus 100 watts for the power head).

As far as toilets are concerned: our toilet uses .8 or 1.6 gallons per flush, depending on whether you press the large flush or small flush button. It has no problem flushing in toilet paper, wet wipes and... other stuff... on one go.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2014 at 11:49AM
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I so wish 240v electricity was more common in the US. As a result, our dishwashers, washing machines, and hair dryers all take longer, and in the first two require hot and cold water connections instead of just cold (and draw water from your water tank, leaving less available for your shower or bath). And our vacuum cleaners aren't as powerful.

The indoor pool I frequent has commercial 240v hair dryers in the locker room and they're wonderful - dry hair and body in 30 seconds.

I'm fine with the low-water-use toilets though. Some of them are awful, but it's possible to make a good one. The commode I recented put in our home (Toto Drake 2) uses only 1.28 gallons per flush and still flushes better than the 5-gallon antiquity in my last home. Maybe they'll figure out how to make a good vacuum that uses less power, but for shop-vac type units, suction is everything and that really requires more power. You're not saving energy if you need to run the thing twice as long.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2014 at 1:15PM
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