“Our job is to ensure that the voice of this industry is heard”


On taking over the reins at AMDEA last December I set about identifying the 2020 priority topics for our members and a plan to deliver against these objectives…


ast year ended on a positive note – a new Government with a clear majority and a mandate to make decisions and move the country and the economy forward. Confirmation that Brexit legislation would be enacted, enabling us to get on with the detail of negotiating EU Withdrawal. Consumer confidence appeared to be building, the numbers of those in work reached record highs and there was a general air of confidence that 2020 would bring an economic upward trend.

As I write this, four days into the UK COVID19 lockdown, it seems inappropriate that I just write solely about our action plans that just a week ago were our focus for this year. The world has changed dramatically in just a few weeks and therefore I think we have to pause, reflect and re-focus our efforts for the short, medium and longer term.

Many of you have businesses where you have been forced to close your doors and we have no idea how long that situation will continue. Currently, servicing your customers online, delivering to homes and responding to essential field service requests are allowed, with the requirement that you adhere to the advice on social distancing and personal protection. AMDEA is arguing strongly that domestic appliances are critical to supporting householders during the ‘Stay at Home’ instructions and self- isolation. More than ever home owners will rely upon domestic appliances to keep food fresh and safe, to prepare and cook food, to maintain home and personal hygiene and, for some, to refrigerate essential medicines at home. Critical services such as the NHS and the Police rely upon appliances to help run their operations and need the same access to service and support.

AMDEA’s work relating to industry priorities will continue during this time. Our job is to ensure that

plans are in place and the voice of this industry is heard. The consultation process of change continues and regulatory changes need to be agreed, ready for implementation. We have requested a review of the timing of any changes planned for the next 12 months. No additional burdens should be placed on

businesses this year and the only changes that should go ahead are those that result in immediate efficiency gains that outweigh the cost of implementation. We are due to see changes to energy labelling requirements towards the end of this year. The current scale needs to be reset to reflect the advances in appliance technology of the last 10 years. Washing machines, dryers, refrigeration, TVs and lamps will be the first categories to change. Product shipped to your stores from this November will have to include both the current and new energy labels and you will be required to display the new energy labels from March 2021. AMDEA is working with manufacturers to supply comprehensive information on how to manage the transition in store and a consumer campaign is planned. In the current crisis, it is possible that these changes will be delayed, but that is only a possibility so we have to be ready to go based on the current timetable. A consequence of new appliance sales is the requirement to demonstrate to our customers that their old appliances will be collected and

responsibly recycled. The WEEE regulations relating to the take back of old appliances will, later this year, require larger retailers to offer a customer return service if they do not already do so. This is to support increased collection rates, especially for small appliances.

The industry has come together to create a consumer campaign, raising awareness of the need to separate all electrical waste for recycling, especially small electrical items, and the environmental benefits of recycling. As part of this activity, we are also working with a number of local authorities to help increase the overall percentage of electrical waste that can be responsibly recycled.

AMDEA is working to remind consumers of how their daily lives are supported through the continuous advances in domestic appliance technology and innovation.

The coming weeks, possibly months, will be the most challenging of our working lives. AMDEA will continue to work tirelessly with members and stakeholders to help navigate through the current crisis and into calmer waters.

April 2020

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