If you regularly follow the news and current affairs you will probably be aware of a recent EU ban on vacuum cleaners that operate over 1.6k/w. This is part of an energy efficiency drive….with high-powered household appliances such as kettles, toasters and lawnmowers set to be next!
Why is this happening and what does it mean for homeowners?
The plan is to reduce energy consumption by 30% by 2030, and the EU consider that setting a limit of 1600 watts on high energy appliances will help achieve this. The kettle and toaster are staple items within any homeowner’s kitchen yet look likely to be the next affected. But what if you are currently looking to buy a new kitchen, building a new home in the next few years, or simply need a new kettle now?
Should you buy appliances now?
At the moment the changes are just a proposal, so we definitely don’t recommend purposefully rushing out to buy new appliances. This is especially so as these intended measures are being met with much resistance from the public. Also, if you buy a new kettle or toaster at this time the validation of your warranty could be compromised should these items break within the warranty period, but after any ban has come into effect. So the EU’s hope is you would choose a low-energy kettle or toaster that operates below the intended 1600 watt limit. Yet we all know how frustrating it is to wait on a kettle boiling and surely a low energy model will take even longer! It is also questionable whether a low energy model would even reach a maximum, safe temperature.
Are there any alternatives?
One alternative to consider is replacing the kettle altogether with an instant hot water tap. These are becoming increasingly popular for homes, and we receive numerous requests for them to be included within kitchen designs. Whilst more expensive than the average kettle there are plenty of reasons why you might consider a hot water tap to be a worthwhile investment. Of course this includes their low energy consumption! Amongst other advantages, this gives them a much more certain and solid future than that of the humble kettle!
The principle benefits of an instant hot water tap:
- A model such as the Zip HydroTap® operates at 1.5 k/w or 1500 watts, so is safely below the EU’s intended wattage limit of 1600 watts. Power-Pulse™ energy saving technology also reduces power consumption by enabling the system to electronically regulate its power during high and low usage periods. This saves energy whilst maintaining the tightest possible temperature control.
- A hot water dispenser uses the same amount of electricity as a kettle to heat a 250ml mug of water. A hot water tap is also more efficient over a kettle with a minimum fill volume of more than a mugful, as the excess water is heated but then usually wasted.
The hot water tap is instant, so there’s no waiting on it boiling
- The hot water tap can be used in place of a mixer tap and mounted on either the kitchen work surface or sink to ensure convenient use, with an unobtrusive look.
- Options are available for boiling, cool, chilled, filtered and sparkling water
- It can provide up to 100 cups of hot water per hour whilst the tank takes only 10 minutes to reheat
- There are many models and styles available
- The instant hot water tap is insulated from heat and includes safety devices to make it safe around both children and adults
- Most hot water taps have adjustable temperature options
- Instant hot water taps include scale reduction technology
And what about the Toaster?
Toasters are more difficult to advise on because there is no clear comparable alternative to them with the exception of an oven! If redesigning your home/ kitchen, we would suggest ensuring a model with an integrated grill option which can be easily used in place of a toaster, and which many people simply prefer! The other advantage of this is that not having a toaster present in a kitchen will save you valuable worktop space. This is particularly important within smaller kitchens. Without it your kitchen will look less cluttered and effect a clean tidy kitchen look.
…We can only wait and see how the proposed changes to legislation will be received and whether these will be introduced as UK law moving forward. In the meantime if you think this is something that might affect you and want further and more detailed advice in relation to your options, please don’t hesitate to Contact Us.