New European rules could see the power of Britain's vacuum cleaners slashed as part of an energy-saving drive.
Politicians in Brussels hope the move, set to be introduced in 2017, will save enough energy to power 2.3 million homes a year.
According to a report by the Mirror, a typical 2,000-watt machine would be powered down to just 900 watts. There are fears that the change will result in the production of vacuum cleaners with less suction power – machines that are less effective and fail to pick up dirt.
The new rules will force companies to redesign their products in order to comply. This could lead to the introduction of machines that lie closer to the floor to minimise suction loss, while at the same time making them more difficult to manoeuvre.
British entrepreneur Sir James Dyson, who invented the Dual Cyclone bagless vacuum cleaner, said: "The proposed regulations are designed around an older generation of vacuum cleaner – old bag technology – cultivated by some German manufacturers in the past.
"It encourages vacuums that are difficult to push. Engineers will be straitjacketed into ‘developing’ machines of yesteryear."