The VDE Institute carries out measurements on the energy efficiency of vacuum cleaners.

Energy label for vacuum cleaner invalid

For years, courts have been dealing with the controversial EU regulation on energy efficiency labelling of vacuum cleaners. This stipulates corresponding tests with empty dust containers, which would not correspond to the actual use of the devices in everyday life. The Court of the European Union has now put a stop to this practice and annulled the regulation.


Christian Lütkemeier

Since September 2014, vacuum cleaners have been provided with an EU-wide energy efficiency label. However, the regulation has always been controversial as it does not include testing of vacuum cleaners with full dust containers. The EU court in Luxembourg adopted this reasoning and annulled the regulation. The energy efficiency of vacuum cleaners, through tests with empty containers, is not a measurement under conditions "that come as close as possible to the actual conditions of use," according to the judges. For energy efficiency measurement tests, "the vacuum cleaner container must be filled to a certain degree", so that the test results reflect the measured values in daily use.

EU court suspends test procedure with empty dust containers.

EU energy labels are designed to inform consumers about the energy efficiency of vacuum cleaners, helping them to make the right choice. This presupposes that the information on the energy label has been determined under "real" conditions. "We have been committed to consumer protection for decades. This also includes that consumers can rely on information on the energy efficiency of electrical products. But this also means that the tests must reflect everyday use," explains Wolfgang Niedziella, Managing Director of the VDE Institute. "We understand the judgement of the EU court, because the operation with empty container is not the usual operational condition. It is now the task of the standardization committees to define new reproducible test conditions, which is certainly not easy, after all, what's inside a partially filled vacuum cleaner bag," continues Niedziella.

The EU Commission, which is responsible for issuing EU regulations, now has around two months to appeal the ruling. Otherwise, the current energy labels will lose their validity and a new regulation will need to be presented.

Current information for the EU energy label for vacuum cleaners

The energy label for vacuum cleaners is annulled and may no longer be used.
alexlmx /

Due to the fact that the EU Commission has not filed an appeal against a ruling by the European Court of Justice (EUJ), vacuum cleaners may no longer have energy labelling. On the contrary: The label must be removed from devices that have already been manufactured.

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Current Information about the VDE Institute