A new law is due to be introduced this summer giving consumers in the UK the ‘right to repair’ on the electronic goods they buy.
The new law aims to extend the lifespan of appliances such as fridges, TVs and washing machines by up to ten years and to make them cheaper to run through higher efficiency standards.
It is hoped the change in regulation will address common consumer complaints about goods not lasting long enough and difficulties in getting faulty goods repaired.
A new upcoming energy efficiency framework is also set to be implemented to reduce the use of energy and material resources while saving consumers money and lowering carbon emissions.
UK & EU common standards
The change in law follows legislation from the European Parliament. Although the UK is no longer an EU member state, manufacturing standards must be matched to European standards in order to continue trading.
The EU rules place a legal obligation on manufacturers to ensure spare parts are available for up to a decade. This may require some parts to be available only through professional repair companies to ensure they are installed correctly.
New devices will also have to come with repair manuals and be made in such a way that they can be dismantled using conventional tools when they really can’t be fixed anymore, to improve recycling.
The new rules are estimated to reduce the 1.5 million tonnes of electrical waste the UK generates a year and to contribute to reducing carbon emissions overall.
Business and Energy Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng said: “Our plans to tighten product standards will ensure more electrical goods can be fixed rather than thrown on the scrap heap – putting more money back in the pockets of consumers whilst protecting the environment.”