From 2021 manufacturers of white goods and household appliances in the European Union will have to have to provide spare parts to independent repairers so that devices can be fixed for 10 years after it being sold.
The new regulation apply to lighting, washing machines, dishwashers and fridges and follows years of complaints from consumers about the short service life of household appliances, and the difficulty of having a device repaired once the warranty expires, often forcing them to buy a new one.
The text adopted by the EU specifies that manufacturers are now required to design their devices so that parts can be easily replaced. This includes prohibiting the use of proprietary materials. It also calls for household appliances to be less energy-consuming, both by facilitating their recycling and by re-evaluating their energy rating.
European Commission Vice-President for Jobs, Growth, Investment and Competitiveness Jyrki Katainen said: “Whether it is by fostering repairability or improving water consumption, intelligent eco-design makes us use our resources more efficiently, bringing clear economic and environmental benefits.
The Commission estimates that these measures, together with the energy labels adopted on 11 March, will deliver 167 TWh of final energy savings per year by 2030. This is equivalent to the annual energy consumption of Denmark and corresponds to a reduction of over 46 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent. According to Commission estimates the measures could save European households on average 150 euro per year.
Commenting on the adoption of the measures, Monique Goyens, Director General of BEUC, the European Consumer Association, said: “The new repair requirements will help improve the lifetime of everyday appliances that currently fail too quickly. It is crucial we bin the current ‘throwaway’ trend, which depletes natural resources and empties consumers’ pockets. The EU has started with five products that most consumers own at home and we strongly encourage legislators to make more product categories repairable.”