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Published on October 9th, 2013 | by The GC Team

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Dyson goes to court over EU’s “misleading” vacuum energy label regime

Dyson has launched a judicial review at the European General Court to prevent people being misled by the new EU energy labelling regime for vacuum cleaners. The move follows a call from the Malmesbury-based company in June this year for a rethink on the proposed energy label, in which it stated the label will incentivise manufacturers to develop machines that perform well in laboratories but not in the home (see story of 27 June on this website).

James Dyson (pictured) today said: “The energy label could have guided people towards high performing, energy-efficient vacuum cleaners. Instead it will mislead people by overstating the energy efficiency of old-fashioned technology which loses performance in the home. And it overlooks the impact, on both the pocket and the planet, of costly resource-sapping consumables.”

From September 2013, all vacuum cleaners will be rated from A-G on performance and energy efficiency. The label has the potential to be a useful environmental impact and performance guide, but in its current form Dyson believes that the Energy Label regime is misleading and favours old-fashioned technology due two fundamental oversights:

1) The regulations stipulate that vacuums should be tested in laboratory conditions: empty and with no dust. Dyson said that this does not simulate real-life conditions and is not representative of the view of testing and standards bodies across Europe, such as the IEC, Which? and Test-Aankoops.

2) The cost and waste of consumables such as bags and filters is not measured. Dyson argues that developments in vacuum technology over the past 15 years mean that vacuum cleaners do not need bags. But some manufacturers insist on selling machines that rely on expensive, environmentally damaging consumables.

Dyson said it supports the European Union’s ecodesign measures to put caps on motor wattage and it will continue to campaign for this as it is the most effective way of reducing the environmental impact of vacuum cleaners. But the company will campaign against the “use of costly, environmentally damaging consumables like bags and filters.”

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