EU rule will see Henry the Hoover banned

Heavy-handed EU law threatens friendly Henry the Hoover

woman doing chores using vacuum cleaner on carpet and lazy man on sofa with tablet pc.

There have been reports of panic-buying of hoovers, ahead of new EU rules which will outlaw the sales of more powerful vacuum cleaners. The rules will be phased in from Monday and will eventually see the demise of one of Britain's best-loved hoovers - the big-eyed Henry the Hoover.

European officials are trying to make hoovers more environmentally friendly, by outlawing those which are more than 1,600 watts. However, it risks sweeping many of the most effective models off the shelves in the process. It runs the risk that people will be forced to use less effective and less powerful models for longer - getting through more energy in the long-run.

The Daily Mirror has reported a rush on the most powerful hoovers, including the the Hoover Hurricane, Samsung CycloneForce Sensor, Cylinder bagless Vax and Miele S5281. These will cease production on Monday, as they fall foul of new EU rules. The BBC noted that many of the outlawed brands had been classed as 'best buys' by Which? and the company urged people to buy them while they still could.

At the moment no Dyson models are affected, and the much-loved Henry is safe for now too, but as of 2017 the law will be beefed up even further, so that anything over 900 watts will be banned. As Henry uses 1,200 watts he could be set for the chop.

Henry has a special place in British hearts and homes. He has made his way into 7 million homes since he first went on sale 25 years ago, and has seen his family grow with the addition of Hetty, James, Charles, George, and Harry.

There is the hope that vacuum manufacturers have been busy designing lower-power alternatives since the new rules were first discussed. Ideally we will see plenty of new hoovers with less powerful engines but effective cleaning ability hit the market.

European commission spokeswoman for energy Marlene Holzner is optimistic about this outcome. She claimed in a blog: "As a result of the new EU eco-design and labelling regulations, consumers will also get better vacuum cleaners."

We can only hope that a lower-powered Henry will also hit the shelves before 2017, rather than being consigned to the dustbin of history.

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