The new legislation, which originates from the EU, will come into force this summer and will mean that manufacturers have to make appliances such as fridges and dishwashers last longer and supply spares for them for up to 10 years after they have gone to market.
This means that consumer will have the legal right to expect a repair on appliances during that 10-year period that spares are required to be made available.
The Government estimates that this new legislation will reduce the amount of electrical waste the UK produces by 1.5 million tonnes.
Commenting on the new laws, Rangemaster sales and marketing director for appliances Iskender Dicker (pictured) said: “At Rangemaster, we welcome the changes to energy efficiency legislation and believe it is necessary to protect the future of our planet. The UK generates around 1.5 million tonnes of electrical waste every year, and the ‘right to repair’ rule will help extend the life of appliances, while preventing them from ending up on the scrap heap sooner than they should.”
Business and Energy Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng said: “Our plans to tighten product standards will ensure more electrical goods can be fixed rather than thrown on the scrap heap – putting more money back in the pockets of consumers while protecting the environment.
“Our upcoming energy-efficiency framework will push electrical products to use even less energy and material resources, saving people money on their bills and reducing carbon emissions.”
Of the new laws, Climate Change Minister Lord Callanan said: “We can all play our part in ending our contribution to climate change, even when we’re choosing a new electrical appliance. The new energy labels we have introduced this week will help consumers make more informed decisions about how eco-friendly one smart TV or dishwasher is over another, helping us reduce our carbon footprint and build back greener.”
This new directive follows on from the introduction in the UK on March 1 of new energy labels for fridges and freezers, dishwashers, wine cabinets, washing machines and washer-dryers.
Dicker added: “The new ‘right to repair’ rules, combined with the new labels and energy efficiency standards, will help consumers make more informed decisions on the appliances they buy, helping reduce their energy bills, while extending the investment in new appliances. We support the UK’s plans to drive up product standards, increase efficiency of appliances and reduce carbon emissions.”
Safety body Electrical Safety First had some warnings about the legislation and emphasised that repairs should be carried out by qualified engineers. Chief executive Lesley Rudd said: “This well-intentioned green policy must consider then unintended consequences on consumer safety. The Government should give serious thought as to who can carry out these repairs. At present, consumers cannot refer to a register of competent, third-party professionals, to get the job done. This risks incompetent repairers causing more damage to the produces – and potential harm to consumers.
“While changes to product design can make repair work easier in the long term, currently, some appliances are simply too complex for the average consumer to safely fix themselves. A network of competent repairers, approved by manufacturers, must be introduced if this well-intentioned policy is to benefit – and protect – consumers.”