The European Commission has ratified new “right to repair” regulations which will make the repair of domestic appliances easier. From 2021, the regulations require manufacturers to design longer-lasting machines and to make spare parts easily and readily available for up to ten years in a bid to reduce waste.

The new rules, which apply to washing machines, dishwashers, refrigerators, televisions and lighting, mark the first time that reparability requirements have been included in the EU’s Eco design Framework, which mostly includes water and energy efficiency standards.

It is estimated that the new standards will ensure that appliances have a longer life. The rules also include provisions to make appliances more energy efficient. For example, star ratings for the energy efficiency of appliances will be ratcheted up. Current regulations are seen to be outdated, with more than 55% of washing machines sold in the EU ranked A+++ on the label. The move could directly save €20bn on energy bills per year in Europe from 2030 onwards – equivalent to 5% of EU electricity consumption.