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European Union Bans Inefficient Washing Machines

Jason Hicks |

BRUSSELS, Belgium — The European Union (EU) has banned the most inefficient washing machines in a plan to save the equivalent of two power plants worth of electricity and cut 3.8 million tons in carbon-dioxide emissions annually by 2020.The 27-member EU aims to reduce the emissions blamed for global warming by 20% from 1990 levels and will increase the efficiency of appliances, vehicles and buildings to help meet the target. With the new rules, washing machines would have to use 4.3% less energy annually by 2020 and save water or be outlawed, according to the German environmental agency Umwelt Bundes Amt (UBA).The measure, one of a series by the commission that has also targeted such products as light bulbs, will commence in two stages — the first in July 2010 and the second in 2013. Power consumption by washing machines has already declined 37% since 1992, UBA says.Electrolux AB, the world’s second-largest appliance maker, has said it plans to cut energy use in its operations by 15% while promoting a “green range of products,” including more energy-efficient appliances.The EU is also toughening the rules governing consumer information on appliances so potential buyers can more easily identify the amount of energy a machine consumes. 

About the author

Jason Hicks

American Drycleaner

Jason Hicks was assistant editor for American Trade Magazines, which publishes American Coin-Op, American Drycleaner and American Laundry News, for more than nine years, and web editor for three years.

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