A new EU energy label means manufacturers will not be able to make or import vacuum cleaners with a motor that exceeds 1,600 watts. The wattage will be limited to 900 watts by 2017. Current cleaners typically have an average of 1,800 watts.
Retailers can still sell the old models indefinitely (while stocks last) and provided it is not new stock being brought into Austria.
"The EU will now require that all vacuum cleaners clean well and at the same time avoid wasting electricity," Marlene Holzner, spokesperson for the EU commission on energy, said in a press release.
It is predicted that by 2020, the new regulations will have saved 19 terawatt-hours per year, equivalent to the energy consumed by 5.5 million households.
Hoovers will now also be labelled with energy-efficiency ratings from A through to G – with A being the most energy-efficient.
The move has angered some manufacturers who say the move will do nothing to make cleaners more environmentally friendly and will simply reduce efficiency in the home.
However, James Dyson, the British designer of innovative vacuums and other household appliances, said that "It's a myth that bigger is better," adding that none of his vacuum cleaners have motors above 1,400 watts and that they work so well because of engineering, not energy consumption.