In 2014, an EU law was implemented that ensured vacuum cleaner motors could be no higher than 1600 watts, and in three years’ time, it will be reduced even further. On the 1st September 2017, this came into effect, with the maximum wattage allowed now at 900 watts.
Whilst a lot of homeowners may see this as a negative and imply that the vacuum’s suction is less effective, the positives are that you will use less electricity every time you use your vacuum cleaner, meaning that your energy bills will be reduced, therefore saving you money. The average UK household has a 1400-watt vacuum cleaner which over the year uses around £11 a year, whereas 900-watt models will cost around £7 a year to use. Also, because there will be less stress on the motor, the vacuum cleaner will last longer than the more powerful models.
Numerous tests over the years by Which? found that higher wattage vacuums don’t necessarily mean a better clean, with 900-watt vacuums performing as well, if not better, than some of the higher wattage options.
Will I have to purchase a new vacuum if mine’s higher than 900 watts?
The simple answer to this is no. If you already have a vacuum that’s higher than 900 watts then it’s completely fine for you to keep that vacuum, the only drawback is that you won’t be saving as much as others who are using vacuums below 900 watts.
As for companies selling vacuums, it’ll be illegal for you to purchase a vacuum cleaner that is higher than 900 watts, but shops can sell the rest of their 1600-watt stock to customers. So, if you wanted to grab one, the time is now as companies will be wanting rid of their stock. But, it may not be as bad as you think.
Cordless vacuums have become increasingly popular over the past few years, and it’s mainly due to the ease of use. Not only is this a benefit, by going cordless most of these products only use around 500 watts of power, meaning that your energy saving will increase.
Vacuum cleaners have become more efficient
Since the first EU law in 2014, whilst the average watt used as decreased, the average carpet dust pick-up has increased from 72% to 77%. This could indicate that cleaning standards will further increase after the 900 watts ban which could persuade you to use more efficient models.
By applying this law, it means that throughout the EU we will be reducing our carbon footprint significantly, as we save around 20 TeraWatt hours (TWh), which is normally the electrical consumption of all residents in Belgium use collectively in a year.