The “right to repair” law will extend the life of the product, the government says

Washing machine

Washing machine

The government said it would be possible to drive washing machines, TVs and refrigerators cheaper under the new “repair rights” law.

Starting Thursday, manufacturers said they needed to make spares available to consumers with the aim of extending the life of their products by up to 10 years.

According to the government, this year’s increase in energy standards will reduce energy prices by an average of £ 75 a year.

However, one company said the new rules could make white goods more expensive.

Repair rights rules are designed to address “embedded obsolescence” in which manufacturers deliberately build appliances to fail after a period of time to encourage consumers to buy new ones. I will.

Manufacturers are legally required to make spare parts available to consumers so that they can repair home appliances.

According to the government, this year’s change in energy efficiency standards means saving consumers, reducing carbon emissions by 8 megatons in 2021 by reducing the amount of electricity-intensive commodities.

Since March, changes have also been made to the energy efficiency labeling of appliances.

Energy Minister Anne-Marie Trevelian said, “Tighter standards allow us to repair more appliances without having to throw them away when they fail, and more money in the consumer’s pocket. Can be returned. “

Sir Caranan, Minister of Climate Change, added, “Even if we choose new appliances, we can all play a role in ending our contribution to climate change.”

Analysis Box by Colletta Smith, Consumer Affairs Correspondent

Analysis Box by Colletta Smith, Consumer Affairs Correspondent

These new rules should put an end to the frustration of having to dispose of an item because a small part has stopped working and is out of stock.

Often the seal around the refrigerator, the washing machine detergent drawer, or the dishwasher runner breaks. Replacement parts need to be sold directly by the manufacturer for 10 years, regardless of whether or not they are still selling complete items within that range, rather than buying an entirely new product.

This is not a law about who is responsible for repairs. If it is still covered by the warranty, it will need to be repaired by the manufacturer or retailer, but after that, at least now, access to replacement parts is guaranteed. You probably have to buy it, and if it’s a complex internal part you might have to pay someone to fit it, but at least you get it You should be able to put it in.

However, having the right to repair is a step away from having the confidence to actually try the repair. Persuading people to fix it and not throwing it away is a far greater cultural change.

Libby Peak, an environmental expert responsible for Green Alliance’s resource policy, said the new regulation “represents a small, first step in providing the long-lasting, repairable products people want.”

But she said it wasn’t accurate to say that the new rules would create a “legal right to repair.”

“The government does not give consumers such rights, as spare parts and repairability standards are directed only to professional repairers, not to the people who own the product,” she says. I did.

“There is no guarantee that spare parts and repair services will be affordable, so there remains a significant barrier to making this the easiest default option,” she added.

The Green Alliance called on the government to “increase ambition in this area and make it as easy as possible to repair or upgrade people’s products.”

John elliott

John Elliott said white goods can be more expensive

“Race to the bottom”

One company said the law could make appliances more expensive. John Elliot, Executive Chairman of Ebac, said his business has always focused on the long-term reliability of the product.

“We are not going to make the cheapest washing machine. We are looking for a washing machine that does the job and lasts longer,” he said.

The company has been manufacturing dehumidifiers, water coolers and washing machines for 50 years in Newton Aycliffe, Durham.

“Our focus is reliability. Not only is the initial cost low,” Elliott said. “The secret to a product that is easy to repair and lasts a long time is design.”

Overall, Elliott said the law wouldn’t make a big difference to his business. But it will be a competitor participating in the race to the bottom at the prices of many white commodities.

“I can’t think of an example where the product couldn’t be repaired,” he added. “I checked that the oldest machine I repaired was 25 years old.”

Engineer fix

Rob Johnson, operations director of Pacifica’s repair business, said his company wants to hire engineers for the new rules.

The company already has 400 qualified engineers coming home and repairing about 6,000 appliances a week.

He said the law “gives the customer a real choice” as to whether to repair or replace the product.

Google and YouTube were confident in working on some basic repairs at home. However, he said the business for quickly fixing items such as dishwasher filters, washing machine seals, broken refrigerator and freezer doors is still active.

It also has environmental benefits. “This law is designed to reduce the impact of electronic waste.

“So I want consumers to take the opportunity to think about whether they should be repaired rather than replaced. It’s either repairing it yourself or calling someone like them. Means. “

Do-it-yourself repair

According to a YouGov survey commissioned by BBC News, people’s levels of comfort vary when it comes to working on home appliance home repairs.

In general, people are least accustomed to trying to repair gas ovens, microwave ovens, gas stoves, and utensils themselves, and most accustomed to repairing lamps and other small lights.

The man said he felt more comfortable than the woman by trying to repair the appliances entirely.

Most of the appliances covered by the new law are in the kitchen. However, according to the data, few people can rest assured that the availability of spare parts has increased.

Among the kitchen equipment subject to the new regulations, British are the most comfortable to repair washing machines (22%), including one in three men (32%) and half of women (14%). It is. However, people are not very accustomed to the dishwasher (16%).

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