This article first appeared at Manchester Vacs.
The new vacuum cleaner energy label, set to come into effect on 1 September 2017, will reduce the maximum wattage from 1600 to 900 watts for any new vacuum cleaner manufactured or sold in the EU.
Despite the UK having voted for Brexit, we are bound by these EU rules until we actually leave the EU. From September the 1st 2017, new vacuum cleaners will be a maximum of 900w. Our friends in places like the US, Canada, Australia, South Africa, New Zealand, Switzerland, Norway and Russia are not affected by EU rules. They will still have full power vacuum cleaners.
What vacuums are exempt?
This doesn’t apply to new vacuums bought before September 1st this year, or to reconditioned vacuum cleaners. So a reconditioned 1600w Dyson DC33 is still a great buy and will remain so.
Certain vacuum cleaners are not covered by the EU regulations. This means products like floor polishers, robot vacuums, mattress cleaners, hand-held and battery operated vacuum cleaners do not fall within the remit of these new rules. Standard upright and cylinder vacuums are covered, however.
The full details of the new EU law can be found >here<.
What will change?
Many of the machines we know and love will no longer be available in the UK market.
For example, Sebo, the German manufacturer, will be withdrawing the much loved X and BS commercial ranges from the UK. Markets like Australia and Russia will still have them. For the EU, Sebo will be putting out a new range of vacuum cleaners.
Sebo have already put out this warning:
This means if you want one of the much-loved, iconic and very capable Sebo X4 vacuum cleaners, the time to buy is now. After September, they will no longer be available.
Is 900w enough?
There are some very capable vacuum cleaners out there that already adhere to the new rules. The Sebo Felix is such an example.
For those that prefer a cordless vacuum cleaner, the Dyson V8 – being exempt from the rules – is probably the best you can buy. That said, it will leave a V8 size hole in your pocket to buy one. The V8 range currently cost between £370 and £550 on Dyson’s website.
The 900w rule will though remove some much-loved vacuum cleaners from the UK market. The range topping Sebo X4 Automatic Pet Boost will be just a memory in the UK after September.
Stock that is already here will still be able to be sold. In reality, this means come early 2018 any new high wattage machines that remain will go up in price as people search out higher wattage machines against a backdrop of retailer’s declining hoarded stock bought now.
Until the UK actually leaves the EU, and assuming the government rescinds their rules, we are stuck with this. This means the very earliest the UK is out of these rules is 2019 but more likely a year or two after that until the trickle down takes effect.
From September, if you are buying a new vacuum cleaner over 900w, it will be pre September 2017 bought stock. As stock diminishes into early 2018, we expect people will once again look at reconditioned machines that are not restricted by EU rules.
The big names like Sebo, Dyson, Bosch and Miele know this is coming and are planning for it. All should have 900w machines on the market that are quite decent. However, as any petrol-head knows, a large six or eight cylinder engine will always be infinitely better than a three or four cylinder eco engine. Yes, your Prius will get you from A-B, but wouldn’t you rather arrive in a Jag?
If you are planning to buy a new vacuum in the next year or so now is the time to do it before the 900w rule comes in and before prices go up. And whatever you buy, please avoid the budget lemons like Hoover, Gtech, Vax, Electrolux, Zanussi, etc. Buy Dyson, Sebo or something else German.