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Household appliances set to be easier to repair through new ‘Right to Repair’ law

  • White goods will last up to 10 years longer, be easier to repair and cheaper to run, from summer 2021.

Manufacturers of household appliances such as fridges, washing machines and TVs are now legally required to make spare parts for their products, thanks to a new energy efficiency law. Spare parts need to be available for 10 years under the law. This means it’s now easier to repair your appliances should they break down.

If you’ve got a broken appliance in your home, a skilled electrician or handyman will find it easier to source the spare parts needed to fix it. As a result, it’s less likely that you’ll need to replace the appliance completely – saving you from the cost and hassle of appliance shopping. Domestic repair jobs currently account for just 1% of jobs at Rated People, so tradespeople could see an increase in work soon, too.

Save £75 a year on your energy bills

Person smiling at laptop whilst holding bill

The new rule, which is in now place, also includes tighter energy efficiency standards. The government estimates that these standards will cut energy bills by around £75 a year. Plus, fixing an appliance is cheaper than buying a completely new one. So, you can expect to save more money down the line.

Environmental benefits

Pylon in sunny field

The UK produces around 1.5 million tonnes of electrical waste every year, according to government research. Under the right to repair law, new appliances need to come with repair manuals. They also need to be made in a way that allows them to be taken apart using common tools, so that they can be recycled more easily. So, the amount of waste produced by the UK will go down, as more appliances are fixed or recycled and less are thrown away.

Plus, the law will massively reduce the nation’s carbon emissions. The government expects that it’ll cut 8 mega tonnes of carbon emissions in 2021. That’s the equivalent of removing all emissions from Birmingham and Leeds each year! So, this should help towards achieving the UK’s net zero carbon emissions by 2050 target.

A greener future for the UK

New UK energy label

The right to repair law will reduce the number of household appliances that are designed to have a short lifespan. So, your fridge and washing machine should end up being better value for money over time.

The launch of the Right to Repair law comes as new energy labels are being introduced across the UK. The new labels have a clearer energy efficiency ranking scale alongside other features, making it easier for you to find an appliance that’ll reduce both your energy consumption and bills. Read more about what energy labels are and how they’re changing, on our Homeowner Advice Centre.

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  1. How does this affect ChromeBooks which all have a built in expiration date from the day the model was first launched (not purchased or last manufactured – but launched!) of approx. 6 years.
    This means you can buy a Chromebook now and in a few years (if it was an older model) it will meet its expiration date.

    Do Google still have to sell spares for 10 years after it ceases to be manufactured even though it would be useless in a very short time?

    1. Hi Phil, tighter energy efficiency standards are coming into place as part of the right to repair law, which the government estimates will save consumers an average of £75 a year on their energy bills.

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