THE British way of life is under fresh threat from the EU as it targets the nation’s kettles, toasters and even lawnmowers.
Campaigners last night rallied round to vent their fury as Brussels bureaucrats unveiled their latest plan to erode the “lifestyles and choices of ordinary people”.
It follows the banning this week of vacuum cleaners which have motors above the new EU limit of 1,600 watts in a bid to cut energy usage.
The permitted wattage will be almost halved again from September 2017 as the limit is reduced to 900 watts.
Dozens of other everyday appliances could have the power sucked out of them too and some scrapped altogether if new rules around climate change are brought in.
A report published by Deloitte and commissioned by the European Commission, the EU’s executive body, sets out plans to look at the energy usage of a range of items and whether they could be made more efficient.
As well the staples of the kitchen the kettle and the toaster, the list of around 30 appliance categories in the EU’s sights includes heated greenhouses, power tools, aquarium lights and filters and gym equipment.
Mixers, rice cookers, blenders and deep fat fryers are also under threat although meat slicers and popcorn machines are to be spared the chop as they are “niche markets”.
It forms part of an energy efficiency drive – Ecodesign directive – to reduce consumption by 30 per cent by 2030.
A European Commission spokeswoman yesterday confirmed the report and its bid to assess power consumption of household products but said it is not yet an official proposal.
She said: “The European Commission will only consider proposing measures for other appliances if the scientific evidence demonstrates significant energy savings can be made without leading to poor performance.
“The final decision on any such measures would be taken by the Member States ie government ministers working in the Council of the EU and MEPs.”
However campaigners last night reacted with fury at the report and reiterated calls for the EU not to mess around with Britain’s household appliances.
Ukip spokeswoman Louise Bours said: “This is more unnecessary interference in the lifestyles and choices of ordinary people.
“Who in the UK asked the EU to make up a list of banned electrical goods?
“People should be able to choose whichever toaster, juicer and hair dryer they like. It is the EU we need to take power from, not our hairdryers.”
Alan Murad, of campaign group Get Britain Out, accused the EU of robbing Britons of basic choices.
He said: “These proposals are astonishing.
“The Luddites who dreamt them up only reveal their economic illiteracy, as most high-wattage devices are often more energy efficient than what they’ll be replaced with.
“The meddling in our affairs by unelected bureaucrats, the relentless stifling of consumer choice, prove the EU have no democratic credentials to speak of.
“It is yet another assault on the British way of life.”
Retailers have this week reported sales of vacuum cleaners rocketed ahead of the new laws taking effect on Monday.
Online retailer ao.com said weekly sales have soared 380 per cent compared to last month with Currys saying sales are up 94 per cent on last year.
Samuel Tombs, economist at Capital Economics, said it is possible a similar trend could emerge with other appliances.
He said: “When new regulations come into effect we see a burst of retail sales before and then a slump.
“I wouldn’t be overly surprised to see a similar pattern to that which we have seen with vacuum cleaners, we are not looking at a long-term overall effect though, it is more of a knee-jerk reaction.”
EU energy commissioner Gunther Oettinger said the regulations are needed to tackle climate change.
He said: “All EU countries agree that energy efficiency is the most effective method to reduce energy consumption and dependence on imports and to improve the climate.
“There needs to be mandatory consumption limits for small electrical appliances.”
However Benny Peiser, of the Global Warming Policy Foundation, said sapping the energy out of electrical appliances will only lead to people using them for longer.
He said: “Of course this is not going to have any impact on climate and it is not going to save the planet.
“There is no example in history when any product technology has become more energy efficient and this has led to a decrease in energy usage, in fact the opposite happens.
“And if it leads to people saving money, then they will just buy more electrical appliances, the theory is nonsense.”
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