EU set to ban powerful vacuum cleaners under new energy efficiency rules

Hoover, Samsung and VAX are among the vacuum cleaner manufacturers whose more powerful machines will be banned from sale in the UK as a result of new EU energy efficiency rules that come into force next month.

Consumer group Which? is urging consumers who prefer high-wattage vacuum cleaners to ‘act quickly’ as new machines will be banned from having motors that exceed 1,600W from September 2014, and limited to 900W from 2017.

Of seven ‘best buy’ ratings awarded by Which? reviewers since January 2013, five have motors of more than 1,600 watts.

“If you’re in the market for a powerful vacuum, you should act quickly, before all of the models currently available sell out,” the organisation advised. “A Best Buy 2,200W vac costs around £27 a year to run in electricity – only around £8 more than the best-scoring 1,600W we’ve tested.”

Under the European Commission’s new regulations, vacuum cleaners will also be labelled with A to G ratings for energy use, cleaning performance on carpets and hard floors, and dust emissions.

Time and money

Last year, Commission spokeswoman for energy Marlene Holzner wrote in a blog: “As a result of the new EU ecodesign 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. Now, vacuum cleaners that use a lot of energy, that pick up dust poorly, emit too much dust at the exhaust of the vacuum cleaner, are noisy or break down pre-maturely will not be allowed on the market anymore.

“This means a better cleaning experience and less time and money spent on vacuum cleaning.”

Banned models

Listed below are five of Britain’s most popular vacuum cleaners that will be banned when the new regulations are introduced: – 


  1. Samsung CycloneForce 
  2. Panasonic Bagged Upright Vacuum CleanerBlack 2000w 
  3. Vax 2000W Power Midi 2 Cylinder Vacuum 
  4. Hoover Hurricane Light HL2005 Upright Bagless Vacuum Cleaner – Blue 
  5. Miele S6220 Cat & Dog 

The new European Commission ‘ecodesign’ regulations can be likened to the ban on traditional light bulbs brought in in 2012, which saw a buying frenzy as shoppers stocked up before they became obsolete.

Luke Nicholls

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