An appeal is being launched against the European Court of Justice (ECJ) which dismissed supplier’s bid to change energy labels.

Dyson maintains the EU energy labels are misleading consumers and has denounced the ECJ’s decision.

james dyson

This follows a judicial review which was launched by Dyson in October 2013 after it claimed performance ratings on some energy labels do not reflect real-life performance of cleaners in the home. Dyson also argued that the label does not measure the cost or environmental impact of consumables.

“It is deplorable that the ECJ endorses tests that don’t attempt to represent in-home use, and we believe this is causing consumers to be misled. The ECJ’s assertion that dust-loaded testing is not reliable defies belief. The dust-loaded test method was devised by the IEC (International Electrotechnical Commission) and has been adopted by consumer test bodies and manufacturers worldwide. As far as we are aware, what the ECJ call the ‘reliability, reproducibility and accuracy’ of the test have never been questioned in the 107 years it has existed.

“By this judgment, the ECJ has given its support to unrepresentative tests devised by the commission with a small group of European manufacturers, which in our view disregards the interests of consumers in Europe. Dyson was the only manufacturer to support a cap on motor wattage, which would be the most effective way of reducing energy consumption and promoting greater efficiency.”

The ECJ ruling stated: “Dyson states that the regulation misleads consumers because the cleaning performance is tested only when the vacuum cleaner’s receptacle is empty and not during use. The court acknowledges that the suction performance and energy efficiency of a vacuum cleaner with a dust-loaded receptacle will be reduced due to dust accumulation.

The court added that, “the [European] commission could not use tests conducted on the basis of a dust-loaded receptacle, as they are not reliable, accurate and reproducible, as required by the regulation”.

Dyson has claimed that developments in vacuum technology over the past 15 years have meant that vacuum cleaners don’t require bags, yet some manufacturers insist on selling machines that rely on expensive, environmentally damaging consumables. Replacement bags, it points out, can cost UK consumers up to £250 over a five-year period, but energy labels do not stipulate the number of replacement bags or filters that may be required each year or the cost of these.

Dyson said it wanted to continue its campaign in the hope of reducing the environmental impact of vacuum cleaners by creating caps on motor wattage.

Meanwhile, German group BSH Hausgeräte is reported by at least one national newspaper to have threatened to sue Dyson over what it claims are false allegations from Sir James Dyson over its energy-efficiency ratings. However, Dyson has publicly denied having had any legal representations from BSH.