The EU has been accused of sucking the life out of household chores with its new restrictions on powerful vacuum cleaners.
The regulations – which ban vacuums with an output of more than 900 watts – could lead to the strongest cleaners gathering dust on warehouse shelves rather than carpets.
But for now it is expected the market will experience a surge as people snap up the more powerful units before the EU regulations come into force.
DUP MP Sammy Wilson was quick to attack the EU for what he believed was its latest misguided attempt to save the world from the non-existent threat of global warming.
He said: “The people of the UK and the rest of the EU will be forced to buy anaemic vacuum cleaners which silently glide over our floors unable to suck up dirt and dust with the same vigour and strength of the hoovers of old all because of an EU directive designed to save the world from a global warming threat which has failed to materialise in the last 17 years despite rising levels of CO2.
“Dirtier houses today for a cooler planet in one hundred years time seems to be the basis of this restriction on what we are allowed to buy, and kettles which take longer to boil are on the environmental agenda as well.”
Mr Wilson added: “If we are really interested in reducing fuel poverty then instead of preventing consumers from buying the kind of vacuum cleaner most suited to their needs we should be looking at the energy policy which has caused electricity prices to soar and leaves us with a power supply subject to the whims of the wind.”
The new EU energy rule means manufacturers will not be able to make or import vacuum cleaners with a motor that exceeds 900 watts.
Vacuum cleaners are subject to EU energy labelling and ecodesign requirements, and the European Commission website says that by switching to one of the most energy efficient models, people can save €70 over the lifetime of the product.
The website says the more effective cleaners will mean over six million tonnes of CO2 will not be emitted.
The most efficient vacuum cleaners will now carry a label of A+++ taking account of the vacuum’s total power and how efficiently that power is used to pick up dust.