As EU tries to make household appliances more efficient, consumers remain to be convinced

(EurActiv, 28 Feb 2019) European legislation has made appliances like washing machines and dishwashers even more water and energy efficient than washing clothes and dishes by hand. The next step is to connect these appliances to the web and allow them to act independently.

Appliances, or ‘white goods’ as they are known in the industry, are a big part of our daily lives. We wake up with a fresh brew from our coffee maker, make breakfast from food kept cold in our fridge, and get dressed with clothes from the washing machine.

We appreciate the conveniences, but we’re also aware that historically these appliances have guzzled electricity. For our pocketbooks, that has meant hesitation when purchasing them. Do I really need that dryer, or can I hang clothes on the line? Do I really need that washer, or can I scrub my dishes by hand?

But legislation passed in the European Union over the past decade means that this dilemma might not have to be so intense these days.

“Today using a dishwasher uses 10 times less water than cleaning dishes by hand, and uses less than one-third of the energy,” says Paolo Falcioni, director-general of the European appliance industry association APPLiA.

“The EU has been through a number of legislative iterations of energy labelling and eco-design, and today consumers can enjoy the best possible ovens, washing machines, dishwashers, refrigerators and air conditioners,” he says. “Thanks to a number of legislations designed to make the sales of products as transparent as possible through energy labelling, the worst performing products have been removed from the market.”

Legislators in the European Parliament are about to approve a raft of new energy labelling requirements for five major appliances, and these changes are expected to take effect in the next two years. MEPs are hoping that these changes will be a positive piece of news to take home to their voters in the European election campaign in May.

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EurActiv, 28 Feb 2019: As EU tries to make household appliances more efficient, consumers remain to be convinced