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Electrical appliances should be cheaper to run and last longer under new rules

Electrical appliances, including fridges, washing machines and televisions, are expected to be cheaper to run, easier to repair and last longer under new rules which come into force from today.

New legislation, which was confirmed in March, will tackle what's known as ‘premature obsolescence’ – a short lifespan deliberately built into an electrical appliance by manufacturers, which leads to unnecessary and costly replacements for consumers. 

The rules will only apply to certain products put on sale on or after 1 July 2021 (though they can have been made before this date). But it won't apply to goods sold before this date that comply with former regulations - as these don't include a 'right to repair'. The new rules will also only apply to certain items, which includes welding equipment, refrigerators, dishwashers, washing machines and washer-dryers, and electronic display units (such as TVs).

For more on returning goods, see our Consumer Rights guide. 

The new rules mean appliances should be cheaper to run

Under the new rules, manufacturers of electrical goods will now be LEGALLY required to ensure the following: 

  • Appliances should be cheaper to run. The changes will set higher energy-efficiency standards, which should save customers money in the long run. Figures had previously suggested households could save £75/yr but this was based on previous energy efficiency standards and updated figures aren't currently available.

  • Appliances should be easier to repair. Manufacturers will be legally obliged to make spare parts for products available to consumers for the first time, so that electrical appliances can be fixed easily. 

    The amount of time these spare parts will be available for will vary from product to product, but typically manufacturers will make spare parts for between seven and 10 years after the model is taken off sale.

    Manufacturers will also be forced to provide a broader range of spare parts and repair information to third party repairers, which it's hoped, will in turn create greater opportunity for consumers to get their products repaired by professionals.

  • Appliances should last longer. The Government adds that it expects the move to increase the lifespan of products by up to ten years.

The exact requirements, including a list of spare parts and the minimum timeframe they must be available for can be found  on the government's website.

Looking to get your items for as cheap as possible? See our Haggle on the high street guide for tips and tricks on how to get hidden discounts.

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