Starting a new cycle with longer lasting goods
Washing machines, TVs and fridges should have a longer lifespan after new Government legislation was introduced this July – six months after green energy expert Ron Fox called for action.
From Thursday July 1 manufacturers must make spares available to customers with the aim of ensuring these goods will now last for at least ten years.
“It is triple great news as customers will save money by not having to buy these products so often, higher energy standards will mean an average of £75 per year will be knocked off energy bills and the move will cut eight megatonnes of carbon emissions in 2021 and every succeeding year,” said Ron of Noreus Ltd.
He said the new legal right to repair rules were designed to tackle “built-in obsolescence” where manufacturers had made appliances which broke down after a certain period to encourage consumers to buy new ones.
Already new energy labels for dishwashers, washing machines, fridges and freezers were brought in by the European Commission on March 1 this year to improve standards with the old system of A+, A++ and A+++ replaced by a clearer scale of A to G with A the highest rate of efficiency and G the lowest.
Also, with these tougher standards more of these electrical goods can be fixed, instead of being thrown away when they stop working which will lead to a big cut in CO2.
In Ron’s blog here on December 30, 2020, about his New Year’s resolutions to help the environment, he pointed out that in the last 15 years the average washing machine was thrown away after 6.3 years compared to ten years in 2005.
He said most machines came with just a two-year warranty and some only one, so he called for new rules in 2021 to ensure these items lasted longer and reduced the impact of electrical waste.
“It will end the frustration of having to get rid of a big household item because a small part is broken and not in stock. Examples include the seal around the top of the fridge, or the detergent drawer on a washing machine or the runners on a dishwasher,” added Ron, on the University of Keele Science and Innovation Park in North Staffordshire.
Instead of having to buy a whole new product, replacement parts must now be sold directly by the manufacturer for 10 years, whether or not they are still selling the complete item in their range.
But Ron pointed out this isn’t a law about who is responsible for the repair. If it’s still within warranty, then the manufacturer or the retailer should repair it.
However, the customer is at least now guaranteed to get a replacement part, although they may have to pay an expert to fit it if it is a complicated job.
“Having the right to repair is the right step forward, but it’s a much bigger cultural shift now to convince people to fix it and not to fling it,” he concluded.
For more information on making your home more energy efficient, call Ron on 0845 474 6641.
Caption: Beginning a new cycle as new legislation will give washing machines, TVs and fridges a longer lifespan.