Friday TechMunch: Will the EU Restriction on Vacuum Wattage End Civilisation as We Know It?

This week marked the end of the 1600-watts-plus super vacuum. By 2017, you won’t be able to buy a vacuum with more than 900-watts of power. We’re concerned that without our super vacuums Britain will return to the Dark Ages, so should we move our savings into gold and buy survival kits?

Probably not, no.

1600 watts is a lot of watts, a 1600-watt generator will keep the basics in your house running during a power outage. This seems a bit excessive for sucking up dust. Dyson has been producing models with motors that use as little as 700 watts since 2008 and announced this week a 200-watts robot vacuum, and no one’s complaining about their dust sucking ability.

Will we one day live in a world where we can achieve the same cleaning power we do now and reduce our carbon footprint? Can technology really make this dream a possibility?

Between 2007 – 2013, cars’ average CO2 emissions have fallen by 29%, which means we’re comfortably on track for the EU 2020 targets for cars. An LED light bulb uses just 8.6 watts to provide the same amount of light as an old-style 100-watt bulb.

It’s not just about getting more power from fewer watts, being smarter about how we use them could save us too. Technology, like smart meters, smart homes and robotics, is making it easier to reduce energy consumption, something which is vital for a more sustainable future.

The very first vacuum cleaner, which was developed in 1901, was steam powered and horse drawn. Today we can get the same results with only few-hundred watts of power.

So, it seems we aren’t heading backwards as a result of the EU’s regulation. In fact, it might well mean a cleaner future.