‘Right to repair’ law will come in this Summer

Home appliances such as fridges, washing machines and televisions should soon last longer, be easier to repair and cheaper to run, thanks to new Government plans.

Ministers are set to introduce tough new rules for electrical products to tackle ‘premature obsolescence’ – a short lifespan on products which often leads to unnecessary and costly replacements for the consumer.

From this Summer, under new energy efficiency legislation, manufacturers will be legally obliged to make spare parts for products available to consumers for the first time – a new legal right for repairs – so that electrical appliances can be fixed easily.

The move is expected to extend the lifespan of products by up to 10 years – preventing appliances ending up on the scrap heap sooner than they should and reducing carbon emissions at the same time. The UK generates around 1.5 million tonnes of electrical waste every year.

The changes will also set far higher energy-efficiency standards for electrical products which, overall, will save consumers an average of £75 a year on energy bills. They will cut eight mega tonnes of carbon emissions in 2021 by reducing the amount of energy products consume over their lifetime – the equivalent of removing all emissions from Birmingham and Leeds each year.

Business and Energy Secretary, Kwasi Kwarteng, said these changes will put more money back in the pockets of consumers whilst protecting the environment.

He added: “Going forward, 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 as we work to reach net zero by 2050.”

Meanwhile, on 1 March, new appliance energy labels were also introduced which simplify the way energy efficiency is displayed on a new scale from A-G. In addition, now the UK has left the EU, the EU emblem on labels has been replaced with the Union Jack flag.

Climate Change Minister, Lord Callanan, commented: “The new energy labels we have introduced 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.

While Emilie Carmichael, Head of International Collaboration at Energy Saving Trust, added: “Every small step that consumers take in choosing the most efficient appliances will help the UK in reaching its net zero targets.”