After vacuum cleaner ban, the EU targets hairdryers, kettles and even smartphones

The European Union has already clamped down on powerful vacuum cleaners and now it is turning its attention to smaller appliances and gadgets, such as hairdryers, kettles and even high-powered smartphones.

It is looking to introduce new legislation early next year to limit the amount of power an appliance can use in order to meet energy efficiency goals, and that means many household appliances could be outlawed.

Hairdryers, for example, could be reduced in power by up to 30 per cent. A European Commission study claims that the power input of hairdryers in Europe range from 900 watts to as much as 2,300 watts and considering that the vacuum cleaner ban restricts import and sales of devices to those less than 1,600 watts, it is clear that dryers will need to be tackled too.

The EC study suggests that smartphones and mobile phones will be less affected considering they draw less power, but there will be minor changes suggested in areas such as charging patterns. It also says that regulatory change might not be necessary in the category as manufacturers have already expressed an interest in reducing energy consumption.

Home cinema fans might be less enthused by the report. "It has been noted that amplifiers are one of the biggest sources of energy consumption in an equipment rack," it says. "Due to the inherent inefficiencies in amplifying signals, audio amplifiers are also the biggest sources of heat in the rack."

Projectors are also targeted as being able to improve their average energy consumption.

Manufacturers will need to explore all avenues to reduce power consumption in their electric devices, says the EU. It also suggests that mandatory consumption limits will be introduced in multiple categories going forward. "We haven't got round to these devices yet, we want curb power consumption," Günther Oettinger, the German EU energy commissioner, told Bild newspaper.

"All EU countries agree that energy efficiency is the most effective method to reduce energy consumption and dependence on imports and to improve the climate. Therefore there needs to be mandatory consumption limits for small electrical appliances."

Vacuum cleaners, it seems, are just the tip of the iceberg.



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