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Green or clean? EU blacklists super-powerful vacuum cleaners

Published time: September 01, 2014 17:48

Reuters / Marcelo del Pozo

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The EU has introduced a ban on powerful vacuum cleaners that run on 1,600 watts or more, which came into force September 1. Europe hopes it will help to save energy, but critics say the law is just meddling with private life.

The ruling was thought up at the end of 2013 and is part of the EU’s drive to reach their target of cutting energy usage by 30 percent by 2030.

By 2017, new regulations regarding hoovers will mean that it will only be possible to purchase those with 900 watts or less.

A study drawn up by the European Commission looks at 30 electrical appliances they say use too much energy, ranging from kettles to tumble dryers.

“It’s not just people in their own homes who will be affected but businesses such as hairdressers who use powerful hairdryers to get customers’ hair dried as quickly as possible for their mutual benefit,” said Paul Nuttall, a UKIP MEP for North West England.

There are already calls to drop the bans from the National Hairdressers' Federation (NHF), which is urging the EU to reconsider saying its "ill thought-out" plans. High-powered hairdryers are also on the line.

“There really is no area of our lives into which these nannying Eurocrats won’t stick their nose,” Nuttall said. “They have set an impossible energy reduction target which is pointless since other countries such as China and India are building hundreds of coal fired power plants and climate change is not man-made anyway.”

What worries others is the scale of the law and whether it actually seeks to regulate private life.

“They are worried that Europe does not have enough energy to sustain itself and it is currently in a large argument with Russia,” Patrick Young, an expert in global financial markets, told RT. “But really what this comes down to is a belief amongst a liberal elite in Brussels that they know better what people should be doing. There the right to clean your home has now become a victim of the Brussels nanny state.”

However, there have been some winners, namely appliance stores. The Daily Telegraph reported that in the run up to the ban, some retailers had seen a 50 percent rise in the sale of hoovers with over 1,600 watts.

Over the weekend, the Daily Mail reported that Tesco's sales of vacuum cleaners increased by 44 percent over the last two weeks. The supermarket giant has sold out of 2,300-watt Hoover Breeze BR2306 and 2,000-watt Hoover SM2018 Pets vacuums in stores and online.