From the summer consumers should have the right to repair goods they buy as manufacturers will be legally obliged to make spare parts for products available. Gone are the days of buying that expensive fridge/freezer, dishwasher or washing machine only to find that a few years down the line it’s broken, out of warranty and parts are unavailable to fix it.
The driving force behind the rules is to extend the life span of products and improve energy efficiency standards. A duel focus of protecting the environment and saving consumers money. The new rules, reflecting an agreement between the UK and EU, hope to extend product lifespans by up to 10 years and reduce the 1.5 million tonnes of electrical waste the UK produces each year. The new rules are also expected to set higher energy-efficiency standards for electrical products making them more economical to run and by extension better for the environment.
Whilst any rules set at reducing the UK’s carbon footprint and saving people money will be welcomed, whether the increase in product lifespans and cost of having to make spare parts available for consumers will result in higher upfront purchase costs is yet to be seen.
Ministers are set to introduce tough new rules for electrical products to tackle ‘premature obsolescence’ – a short lifespan deliberately built into an appliance by manufacturers which leads to unnecessary and costly replacements for the consumer.