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EU eco vacuums, a year in...

03 September 2015

In response to the introduction of the EU Eco Design regulations, Numatic International released its latest series of commercial dry vacuums in 2014 . A year later, the company's head of media Andrew Ernill asks, "where are we now, what’s changed and how have the new lower energy vacuums been received?"

The rationale behind saving energy is still as relevant today as it always has been, in fact more so. The world needs more power and must use less. With continually increasing cleaning standards the commercial cleaning industry has an important part to play.

Negative publicity 

It is regrettable that much of the press coverage during the introduction of the regulation focused less on the positive aspects of energy saving and more on the concern that lower wattage motors would lower performance. For Numatic International, and frankly for all the leading manufacturers, this simply is not the case. As an industry, vacuum manufacturers were handed a challenge in the form of the regulations. Less energy, more performance with clear industry wide independent testing.

Car manufacturing provides a great comparison to the results we have achieved. Cars of today return greater than ever miles per gallon (mpg), this wasn’t achieved by simply using smaller engines. Instead car manufacturers have innovated from the bottom up to lower emissions and increase mpg, again responding to regulations.

Today’s Henry will clean your carpet just as well as his higher wattage predecessor (in fact better) but uses half the power. This result is a culmination of a series of developments, many of which were small but vital increments. We now have a vacuum cleaner range with greater cleaning performance using less energy.

Market acceptance

Consumers within the EU are now familiar with and impressed by the new improved levels of performance. Global markets with no regulatory pressure present an entirely different challenge. In these markets 2000W vacuum cleaners compete directly with newer generation ECO Design European counterparts. With no independent testing, an even comparison would be difficult to achieve. However, we find once the lower wattage concepts have been explained the results speak for themselves. The growing acceptance of an energy conservation strategy in the wider world markets is encouraging for us as a manufacturer and looks set to continue.

So what now? Amendments to Eco Design and labelling regulations are due in 2017 so the work continues to further energy conservation. All of us in the professional cleaning market must understand we have a serious contribution to make in responding to the almost inevitable energy shortages of tomorrow.