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New energy label is failing vacuum cleaner users says Justin Binks, MD of SEBO U

Once again, vacuum cleaners are targeted by Brussels - The controversial story was everywhere in 2014; and it’s happened again!

2014 saw panic buying of vacuum cleaners sweep through the country as the EU enforced new legislation on energy saving that meant vacuum cleaners could not exceed 1,600 Watts.

The legislation made the manufacture and import of non-compliant machines in the EU illegal after 1st September 2014. Machines already manufactured before the end of August could still legitimately be sold at any time after that date.

Be prepared - it’s happening again right now!
Despite Brexit, from 1 st September 2017, the next phase of the EU legislation on energy saving will come into effect, meaning that vacuum cleaners can only be manufactured and imported at 900 Watts or lower.

However, based on our experience from 2014, consumers will want to buy higher wattage machines before they are ‘outlawed’ and SEBO anticipate
s a major rush to buy current models.

If you want to talk to Justin Binks, MD of market leader, SEBO vacuum cleaners (, please contact him on 01494 465533 or at or contact Alison Relf PR on 07774244640 or at



New energy label is failing vacuum cleaner userssaysJustin Binks, MD of SEBO UK

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Pictured left is SEBO's Felix Vogue vacuum cleaner. Pictured right is Justin Binks, MD of SEBO UK. 

For the second time in three years,the vacuum cleaner industry is tasked with meeting the requirements of new EU energy labelling which will see a reduction in the rated input power of vacuum cleaners. Potentially this, and other requirements relating to the design and testing of vacuum cleaners, will have an impact on the performance and consequent user satisfaction relating to some machines.  

Now, the rated input power of vacuum cleanershas beenreduced from 1600W to less than 900W. At the same time, the annual energy consumption must be less than 43 kWh/annum. Again this is a reduction, down from the 62 kWh/annum level that was set in 2014. Further requirements relate to dust pick-up on carpets and hard floors, dust re-emission, sound power level, the operational motor lifetime and, if there is one, the durability of the hose. At the same time A+++, A++ and A+ energy bands have been introduced to the label while the poorly performing E, F and G bands are no longer shown.

As with previous legislation, the most controversial element is how the tests are carried out to determine the relative performance of different vacuum cleaners. Unfortunately, these tests are unrealistic and do not represent real life cleaning situations. In introducing the latest labelling, an opportunity has been missed to revise the testing protocols to ensure end-users have the true facts. Instead, purchasers of vacuum cleaners are being misled and are unable to make the informed buying decisions necessary for them to end up with the machines they need and want.  

Most vacuum cleaners are used to collect fluff, hair and fibre but, bizarrely, the pick-up tests specify that a special type of sand is employed to represent debris. In addition, the test for hard floors requires that the machine be capable of removing dirt from a 3mm wide, 10mm deep crevice. Surprisingly,there is no requirement to actually clean the surface of the floor. With this in mind, it is predictable that some manufacturers are designing vacuum cleaners that look good from a rating perspective but are hard to use and are poor at cleaning, since the head ‘sticks' to the floor. 

Seeking to make appliances more energy efficient is obviously a good thing but manufacturers should be allowed to use their design and manufacturing skills to produce versatile and effective machines that answer the needs of end-users in terms of performance, reliability and ease of use within prescribed levels of energy use.

To take the analogy of a car, emissions are regulated but there is nothing to say that it has to be able to go from 0 to 60 in so many seconds or be able to traverse a 30 degree slope that has an inch of ice on it. These factors are down to the manufacturer and are among the selling points that differentiate models and marques. Vacuum cleaners may not be as sexy as cars but it is still performance that counts.

SEBO's vacuum cleaners are backed by a five-year parts and labour guarantee offering total peace of mind.  For more information about SEBO, please call 01494 465 533 or



With Compliments

Alison Relf
Taylor Alden ltd
Unit 2 Temple Place
247 The Broadway
SW19 1SD
Tel: 020 8543 3866