EU ‘nanny-state’ rules again over our gadgets
Officials have sent out a new energy directive covering a range of household devices connected to the internet. They claim that electricity is being wasted while the owners are in bed.
The European Commission directive will cover all new networked devices including computer modems and internet-connected televisions.
Officials say the average internet gadget uses between 25 and 100 watts of electricity while their owners sleep and claim the regulations will save an average household about £32 a year. The new rules are part of the EU’s Ecodesign initiative under which popular high-wattage vacuum cleaners were banned last year.
Opponents argue that manufacturers are already making efforts to produce more efficient appliances. Jayne Adye, of the cross-party campaign group Get Britain Out, said: “The New Year has started alarmingly, with the EU nanny-state interfering in how we run our lives yet again.
“Now it’s new electronic, internet-linked TVs and gadgets, following on from coffee machines and vacuum cleaners. Switching gadgets off according to the EU’s whims is ridiculous.
“Reducing suction power to vacuums meaning the houseman or wife will need to spend more time on housework; deciding how we regulate our coffee consumption – what will the EU dream up next? New technology is supposed to enhance our lives but the EU is intent on curtailing our freedom of choice.”
Stricter regulations on labeling were also introduced yesterday. Gas ovens will have to display energy ratings. The Commission reckons the best gas oven would typically save £143 on household fuel bills over its life.
And new filter coffee machines with non-insulated jugs must now turn off 40 minutes after brewing. Machines with insulated jugs must switch off after five minutes. The Commission says the measures on stand-by devices will reduce carbon-dioxide emissions by 28 million tons, equivalent to the annual emissions of 1.5 million households.