​From the 1st September 2014, a new EU energy label comes into force which effectively bans the importing of any vacuum cleaner into the UK with a motor exceeding 1,600 watts.  The ‘Which’ consumer group warns that many of the models that appear in it’s ‘Best Buy’ tables have motor sizes in excess of the new limit.  The current average wattage of a vacuum cleaner is around 1,800 watts which will be limited to only 900 watts by 2017.   

The move has angered manufacturers and consumer groups argue that the move is self-defeating, claiming that householders will  simply use the less powerful models for longer to achieve the same degree of cleaning.  European commission spokeswoman for energy Marlene Holzner said in a blog: “As a result of the new EU eco-design and labelling regulations, consumers will also get better vacuum cleaners. In the past, there was no legislation on vacuum cleaners and companies could sell poorly performing vacuum cleaners.”  (Watch This Space)