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 a year to run in electricity – around £8 more than the best-scoring 1,600w it has tested.
The consumer group argues that the move is self-defeating – claiming that householders would simply use the less powerful models for longer to achieve the same degree of cleaning.
The move has also angered manufacturers who agree the move will do nothing to make cleaners more environmentally friendly and will simply reduce efficiency in the home.