The EU, Climate change, and the giant sucking sound

electrolux_vacuumVacuum cleaners downgraded by the EU to tackle climate change in Europe

Story submitted by P. Wilson

Anyone wanting to buy a powerful vacuum cleaner has only 10 days left to be certain of getting one – following new EU rules that come in next month.

From 1 September, companies in the EU will be banned from making or importing vacuum cleaners above 1600 watts.

Hoover – based in South Wales – said that most of its cleaners were in that category.

It has been replacing its models since July with less powerful versions, but a few are still left on the shelves.

The new European rules are part of the EU’s energy efficiency directive, designed to help tackle climate change.



I don’t see the point of this. Vacuum cleaners run for a few minutes each week. The amount of energy saved in this transient use of the appliance will be miniscule in the scheme of things.

I visualize a black market developing for more powerful vaccum cleaners, an aftermarket retrofit to replace motors with more powerful ones, and a lot of purchases made outside of the EU.

One more reason to dump the EU- they are going to make criminals out of average people who just want to keep their home clean. – Anthony



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I don’t know Sr but [the] crap piles higher and higher with this fraud thank you CANADA !!!!!! I love this Country ;>)

Andrew N

It appears the ecocrats of the EU have confused power with energy. If it takes you twice as long to clean while using half the power then you have used the same amount of energy. Have they factored in the CO2 generated by the increased effort required by the vacuumer in any of their saving the planet calculations?

should be” the ”
not he please edit :>(



It appears that both nature and the EU abhor a vacuum…

In a totalitarian state, the measure of your power is how much misery you can cause.
Anyone can be nice – but spreading pain and misery proves to your colleagues that you are powerful.


Great – my new EU business – brooms for sale!


Bootleg Hoovers and Dysons!


Couple of months ago I bought a 2200W Miele. Those are made to last so should be functional for at least ten years. Hopefully this totalitarian nightmare has collapsed by then.


Like the Seinfeld episode about the black market shower heads?


Wait till they get around to heaters. That will get rid of the useless eaters problem.

Michael D

We have too many Hoovers anyway. Most of them are just gathering dust.

Andrew N says:
August 22, 2014 at 9:18 pm
They are saving the Plan It.


It just means European 220 v vacuum cleaners will be like the ones we have in the US. 110v vacuums on a 10A circuit are limited to 1000W.

Well, that sucks. I am kind of amused that i made a post yesterday titled ‘An expensive vacuum,’ also dealing with human stupidity, but in a fairly unrelated way. More like SAMURAI’s idea, perhaps.

I had to google that to make sure that this wasn’t a joke of some kind. It is hard to form an adequate response to this.

Brian Johnson UK

All the more reason for the UK to quit the EU.


It’s just starting. A utopian’s work is never done. Ever. The EU is the new and improved 1000 year reich. This is what happens when none of your founding documents begin with “We the people…”.

I keep wondering how long European states will subject themselves to the unaccountable EU. Just one more idiotic law in a long litany of destructive policies. I’m not smug about it because my state of California is run by equally incompetent people. At least we can vote them out of office or leave the state if we choose.
It must be supremely frustrating for Europeans.


Max 1600 W is just the beginning, next step is max 900 W, to ble implemented i 2017.
“Beginning September 2014 a new EU Ecodesign Directive goes into effect. In the future it will need to don the EU Energy label and fulfill more stringent minimum requirements with regards to energy efficiency. The practical household appliance will be throttled down and allowed to have a maximum rated power of 1600 Watts. Beginning September 2017 only 900 watts will be allowed.”
What a wonderful new dusty world we can look forward to!

Jim G

And now, from the people who brought you RoHS.


Coming soon – the 300W microwave and the single-port toaster. Obviously they’re planning ahead to save the grid for air conditioning for those long hot days of global warming. But only for the elite central planners who selflessly do the work of the people.


Since lower power will result in lower air volume and/or vacuum capability, it will take longer to clean a given area, therefore the actual energy savings will be miniscule. The hours taken to clean each week will go up, using more labor, resulting in more people employed in cleaning, therefore more machines will need to be purchased. Hoover should be very happy about this stupid development.

This is just another EU policy designed to waste more of the citizens’ time so that they have less time to counter the bureaucracy and so become more subserviant. Low energy light bulbs mean people waste more time trying to read things, Recycling involves wasting hours a week separating out one set of cr@p from another. Lower powered vacuum cleaners mean more hours wasting trying to remove dirt and dust. What next? (don’t give them ideas)
Dyson “vacuum” cleaners use cyclone technolgy, so don’t strictly speaking use a vacuum to suck up dust, so shouldn’t be affected.

Global cooling

Peak power is a big problem if the energy is coming from unreliables like wind and solar. These should not be connected to the grid. At least the price of energy should vary depending on the demand. That will put unrelialibles out of the market.

The Ghost Of Big Jim Cooley

We don’t need no more sinking reasons to leave the EU, we have enough already. Fortunately, here in Britain, we have a vacuum cleaner called a Numatic Henry. It’s superb – and is only 1200 watts. It still has a bag, a long hose, a long lead, and all for £100. I bought one for work, and my wife was so impressed that she stole it for the house.


Henry is the best I have ever used, and to accompany it I have a gtech air ram that runs on a battery, that is a marvel and puts fun into hoovering.

kadaka (KD Knoebel)

So what’s the problem? No need for a black market. Take vacuum cleaners where you can attach a hose on the intake and exhaust ports like a nice Shop-Vac, make a splice hose, and daisy-chain two <= 1600W units, one exhaust to one intake. 3200W or less vacuuming system, done. Save money and energy by removing unnecessary filters, you don’t need HEPA filtration between units.
There should be a good accessory industry starting up where two canister vacs will ride together on one cart, using one power switch. Take measurements and draw up plans now to build your own, it’ll be a fun weekend project.

Peter Miller

This is what happens when you have a monstrous, overpaid, underemployed bureaucracy, who are accountable to no one.
These people in Brussels believe they have to be seen to be doing something, so they come up with with rafts of stupid rules and regulations. It is like a treadmill, the BS emanating from the EU’s central bureaucracy never stops.
The amount of energy which will be saved by this regulation will be either zero or negligible and this is where ‘Save the Planet Syndrome’ kicks in, for the bureaucrats know the politicians will approve of this.
In reality, this regulation is no big deal, as vacuum cleaner technology has advanced dramatically over the last few years and become hugely more efficient.
Nevertheless, it is a classic case of the EU seeking to impose unnecessary rules and regulations to further restrict their citizens’ right to choose.
A century ago at the advent of World War 1, the British Foreign Secretary famously said: “The lamps are going out all over Europe, we shall not see them lit again in our life-time.” What we are seeing with the EU today is a just a slower version of this caused by an utterly insane energy policy, which amongst other things, sees the need to outlaw powerful vacuum cleaners.

The Ghost Of Big Jim Cooley

In case you haven’t heard, over there in Americaland, here in Britain we are whisker-close to all having Smart Meters installed, at a cost of between £12 and £15 billion. We will be forced to have them – and we have to pay for them. Worryingly, it is said that it will be possible for a future government to be able to remotely switch off your supply in the event of a national energy emergency road-by-road, and that hackers could do it too. The amount saved by having one won’t retrieve the install costs, but then when did sense have any play in government decisions…especially where energy and climate change are concerned.

Andrew N says:
August 22, 2014 at 9:18 pm
“It appears the ecocrats of the EU have confused power with energy. ”
You are so right Sir. Problem is that many leading politians in EU not only are confused ecocrats. They also lack knowledge of differens between empiri and political thesis not valuated in accordance to Theories of Science….


The EU should make the vacuum cleaner manufactures create a whole new brand of vacuum cleaner. We will call it the “Wind Turbine” vacuum cleaner. Only works when the wind mills are turning.


EU abhorrs a vacuum

Joseph Adam-Smith

Please, when commenting on such things, correctly refer to the EU as the European SOVIET Union – because that is what it is. And my country, the UK, is under its dictatorship

Man Bearpig

Andrew N. Brings a very valid point to this argument, but I believe it will be worse than that. the effectiveness of the vacuum cleaner is also reduced meaning it will probably take more than twice as much work to get a lower level of cleanliness.
It would also be interesting if anyone that reads works in or is a member of the EU parliament, to check the wattage on the vacuum cleaners used there.

Thai Rogue

This sounds counterproductive to me: I thought they’d use the more powerful vacuum cleaners to suck all that nasty “carbon” out of the atmosphere.

Mike McMillan

People overlook the tradition of new technology coming on the scene to overcome problems. We simply need to come up with new ways of sucking up the dust.
Disposable dusting rags are one way. Electrostatic “vacuum” cleaners, possibly. Magneto-hydrodynamic technology, piezo-electric disintegrators, molecular sieves, fusion thermal vaporization and condensation, who know what will turn up. The job-creating, sustainably green answer is out there. We just have to keep open minds.

kadaka (KD Knoebel)

From The Ghost Of Big Jim Cooley on August 22, 2014 at 11:38 pm:

(…) Worryingly, it is said that it will be possible for a future government to be able to remotely switch off your supply in the event of a national energy emergency road-by-road, and that hackers could do it too. (…)

Since the Smart Meters go to individual users, it should be possible to turn off power to individual users, like we’ve heard is capable with advanced units installed over here.
This would only be done for certain exceptional circumstances, like not paying your electric bill, or when the Postal Service wants to come in and discuss why you illegally put church flyers in your neighbors’ mail boxes and they do so with the assistance of their local militarized “Complaint Resolution” SWAT unit.

The answer to that problem: don’t get a Smart Meter, ( phoned British Gas & was told that should I get a letter telling me I could phone to make an appointment to get one of these unhealthy things installed I should just ignore the letter if i didn’t want one, that easy.) Re the vacuum cleaner directive: since many people these days are trying to save money most of us are being 2nd hand/re-conditioned ones anyway; also don’t be so flaming obsessional about cleaning: ( I use a good old fashioned brush & dustpan between vacuums to pick up the bits that show & only vacuum about once every 2 or 3 months). What I’d really like is a large capacity manual carpet carpet sweeper with lift out pans like the one I had that bit the dust (if you’ll pardon the expression) about 8 yrs ago, it was absolutely brilliant, can’t find one like it anywhere. I’d dispense with the vacuum cleaner altogether if I could find another like it.

Jennifer, ,I am over eighty, I use a brush and pan to clean some surfaces. When it comes to carpets I use a vacuum cleaner to remove the muck that I have trodden into it. Have you ever had to beat the dirt out of a carpet? I have done that and doubt that you have.
I have no need to feel guilty about using a vacuum cleaner.

JJM Gommers

It’s clear the politicians have lost their minds, in Belgium there will be a power shortage the coming winter at peak hours of 25 % appr. 4000 MW. The minister said on a question to restart a coal facility I will not allow. Regions will be cut off from the system one after another for 1 or 2 hours.

Jaakko Kateenkorva

Brian Johnson UK August 22, 2014 at 10:18 pm. Agreed. It would reduce the political interference by Malthusian ‘let’s make it cool to use less stuff’-Monarchs in the EU decision-making. After all, the EU leadership is supposed to be influenced by ballot-boxes, where everyone has one vote. Therefore, if Australia and Canada catch the independence drift and quit the British Commonwealth, I’ll submit my immigration application: Climate refugee from the EU. Guaranteed net beneficial to the local tax-payers. Proof attached. Interested?


This will put a strain on my marriage. I can forsee the time when I am constantly asked to chase after spiders with a glass and a beer mat, because my wife cannot deal with them with her 1600 watt WMD

Mike Wryley

About as smart as the low water use clothes washers, which are the equivalent of beating your clothes on a flat rock for an hour. Now your washing machine wears out your clothes before you do.


Truth is that the Global warming Pause is caused by powerful vacuum cleaners sucking up the heat. Trenberth’s missing heat can be found in the discarded vacuum cleaner bags in waste dumps all around Europe.

James Bull

They had this as a news item on Premier Christian radio earlier in the week, I emailed in the same comment as made here by others that it means people would have to use the new super lower power machines for longer to get the same end result so what would be the saving? Unless it was a clever way to deal with the apparent obesity problem.
I finished with Tim Vine’s winning joke from the Edinburgh festival.
“I’ve sold my Hoover, well it was only collecting dust!”
It’s the same thing as the ban on filament light bulbs in favour of ones containing poisonous chemicals.
James Bull


This is all the first part of a plan by some unelected EUrocrats. There are similar bans on the way for water pumps and tumble dryers.


Less power, less suction. I can’t see lesser suction pulling dirt from deeper.
When I moved here years ago I was told the floors had been vacuumed. They must have used a 20 watt job. A single pass the width of the room lead to complaints that the vac wasn’t working. Emptied it and the ‘boss’ did another sweep. Not sucking again. Same problem. The ‘boss’ realised the carpets were not clean. Probably had decades of dirt. I have to buy my parts for the Kirby from the US, pricewise, but well worth keeping it maintained. I think it virtually indestructible.


I’ll do these Eurocrats a deal. They limit themselves to 1,600€ salary and I’ll limit myself to 1,600 watts…
Actually, now I think about it, there’s a “c” to many in Eurocrats…


While it is ludicrous and antidemocratic, but of course the EU is neither sane, democratic or capitalist, it’s also easy to get around. The nameplate power of a Vac is a peak figure , effectively it’s related to the stall current of the motor. A real 2 KW rms motor is much, much bigger than a Vac motor. So how to fix, put a soft starter circuit (current limiter) ahead of the motor to reduce the startup surge and the stall current, you may even manage to get more RMS power out of your Vac that way. No GHG savings but much lower nameplate power ratings.

4 eyes

It should be made the United States of Europe with proper elections to make sure someone is accountable for regulatory idiocy like this. There must be a hidden reason for this rule – no bureaucrat however stupid could think that this will achieve anything. This compares well with some of the intellectual faux pas associated with the Darwinian awards. Unbelievable. Someone please tell me the bureaucrat responsible has been fired.