Ministers have announced new tighter rules to ensure appliances have a greater chance of repair and re-use, the so-called “Right To Repair”. The intention of the proposed new Ecodesign and Energy Labelling Regulations is to help household appliances last up to 10 years longer by making them easier to repair and cheaper tackling the global environmental issue of electrical waste.
The regulations will initially apply to energy white goods such as fridges, washing machines and also televisions.
The proposed UK regulations are likely to follow similar requirements set out in EU regulations, which oblige manufacturers to ensure:
— Spare parts are available for up to 10 years or at least allow consumers to refer appliances to professional repair companies to ensure parts are installed correctly;
— All new appliances come with repair manuals;
— All new appliances are made in a way that means they can be dismantled using conventional tools so consumers can fix their own electrical items if possible.
New energy labels were also introduced on 1 March 2021 to simplify the way energy efficiency is displayed on a new scale from A-G. These changes will provide more accurate information about the energy efficiency of products.
Business and Energy Secretary, Kwasi Kwarteng, said: “Our plans to tighten product standards will ensure more electrical goods can be fixed rather than thrown on the scrap heap – putting more money back in the pockets of consumers whilst protecting the environment.”
The list of appliances subject to the regulations may also increase in the future and there are calls for smartphones, laptops and other small electrical devices to be included within the regulations’ future scope. We will keep you updated on any changes.
Any manufacturers of fridges, washing machines and/or televisions should take steps ahead of time to ensure they are adhering to the above requirements and avoid any unnecessary disruption to supply chains or reputational damage due to non-compliance. If you need help ensuring your business is prepared for these new proposed regulations, our Manufacturing team is on hand to guide you through the process.