Hairdressers go nutz to EU ban on high-energy hair dryers
Hairdressers in Hair Salons across Ireland go Nutz
As The European Union is considering pulling the plug on high-wattage hair dryers, with the power of hairdryers possibly being reduced by as much as 30 per cent in order to be more eco-friendly, a draft study commissioned by Brussels suggests, threatening many of the models favored by hairdressers and consumers for speedy blow drys.
A study ordered by the European Commission, currently in draft form,has identified up to 30 electrical appliances including lawn mowers, smart phones and kettles that could be covered by the EU’s Ecodesign directive outlawing high-wattage devices.
Günther Oettinger, the German EU energy commissioner, said that legislation preventing consumers from buying high-wattage appliances was necessary to fight climate change.
“We haven’t got round to these devices yet, we want curb power consumption,” he told Bild newspaper. “All EU countries agree that energy efficiency is the most effective method to reduce energy consumption and dependence on imports and to improve the climate. Therefore there needs to be mandatory consumption limits for small electrical appliances.”
The proposals will be a controversial flagship policy for Jean-Claude Juncker when he takes power as commission president in November in order to meet a binding target for energy savings of 30 per cent across the EU by 2030.
EU bans on powerful vacuum cleaners and incandescent light bulbs have provoked a popular backlash across Europe including in traditionally pro-European countries such as Germany.
The draft EC-commissioned study says hairdryers’ power input range from 900 watts to as much as 2,300 watts.
It admits that “of course, more powerful dryers may dry hair in a shorter time” but says there is “improvement potential” to cut hair dryers’ energy consumption by 30 per cent. This is based on a German scheme which awards energy efficiency labels to products which “achieve power savings of at least 30 per cent compared to standard appliances”.
Irish Hairdressers Federation, said curbing the power of hairdryers would simply mean blow-drying took longer.
Mr Coray said he favoured a 2,100 watt hairdryer at his salon in Cardiff. “You have a hair salon environment and somebody in their lunch-break wanting to have their hair done; you have time constraints. The more powerful, the faster the blow dry – it’s as simple as that.”
He said one manufacturer had recently brought out a “green” hairdryer with a lower wattage of between 1,400 and 1,600 watts, but he was unimpressed by it. “It gets very hot but it doesn’t blow very fast,” he said.
Hairdressers liked to minimise the time they had to spend holding hairdryers because it could lead to repetitive strain injury, he added.
Herbert Reul, a conservative German MEP, said: “The commission must stop their eco-design plans. It makes no sense to regulate the detail of energy consumption, the manufacture of each product in the EU and to tell the citizen what he has to buy.”
Paul Nuttall MEP, UKip’s deputy leader, said: “This is being done in the name of tackling climate change but the reality is it won’t help one iota and will just make life harder for house-proud householders. I am perfectly sure grown-ups can decide which hair dryer, kettle or vacuum cleaner they want to buy without nannying EU interference.”
Marlene Holzner, the European Commission’s energy spokesman, said: “It’s a big question mark if we go to regulate hairdryers at all. It’s a study we have asked consultants to do. In the final report they will reduce 30 products to 20. In January 2015 we will look at these recommendations then select from this list what to regulate and how.”