• EU Court overturns hoover energy label

  • Until now, the energy efficiency of hoovers was based on tests carried out with empty dust containers. This information was placed in a prominent position and usually used as a sales argument for the respective hoover model. The EU court has now stopped this practice and declared the EU regulation in question invalid.

    In future, the energy efficiency of hoovers may no longer be determined by tests with empty dust containers. This was the decision of the EU Court in Luxembourg and it declared the EU regulation in force so far invalid. In future, the test procedures must be changed and adapted to the actual conditions during use. Until now, this was not the case.

    EU court upholds Dyson

    With its decision, the Court of the European Union in Luxembourg ruled in favour of the British company. The company's main products are cordless hoovers, hand-held hoovers and hoovers without dust bags, which is why Dyson felt disadvantaged by the previous test procedure. Dyson has been in a legal dispute with its competitors for years and has repeatedly criticised that the information on energy consumption does not correspond to the truth.

    Judges have now confirmed this argumentation. Tests carried out with empty containers do not measure energy efficiency under the conditions that prevail during actual use. The method prescribed by the European Union does not comply with the essential criteria of the Energy Consumption Claims Directive.

    Since the end of 2014, hoovers will be labelled with a standardised label indicating the respective energy efficiency class of the appliance. For this purpose, the EU Commission has established a test procedure in a regulation, which, however, does not provide for tests of appliances with full dust containers.

    The actual goal that the EU Commission wants to achieve with the uniform label is actually quite clear: it wants to give consumers the possibility to inform themselves quickly and easily about the energy efficiency of hoovers. The court was of the opinion that the purpose of the labelling was to support consumers in choosing more efficient products. Accordingly, the vacuum cleaner to clean stairs container should be filled to a certain level when the hoovers are tested for their energy efficiency.

    Years of court cases

    The courts have been dealing with the dispute over the energy efficiency labelling of hoovers for years. In November 2015, Dyson's lawsuit against the EU regulation was rejected. However, the ruling was partially overturned by the European Court of Justice in May 2017 and sent back to the EU court, which annulled the regulation.

    The EU Commission is now given two months to appeal the ruling. Otherwise, the current energy labels will lose their validity and the EU bureaucrats will then have to present a new regulation.