Around 1000 defective electrical devices have been repaired instead of disposed of in Thuringia with the help of the state since mid-June. One month after the start of the so-called repair bonus, 1021 applications had already been processed, said the Thuringia consumer center on request in Erfurt. Only 25 of them were rejected. A total of around 1900 applications have already been received.
“We are of course very pleased with the enormous number of applications, but unfortunately also means that we cannot process the applications as quickly as we would like ourselves,” said a spokeswoman. The switch to an electronic application is intended to remedy this. “Until then, we can only ask the applicants for their patience and forbearance.” The form, which asks about the type of device, the year of purchase and personal details, previously had to be sent to the consumer advice center by post with the original invoice and proof of payment of the repair costs.
Cell phones, washing machines, dishwashers and a drone
The repair bonus is a joint project between the Thuringian Ministry of the Environment and the consumer center. Anyone who has their household electrical appliance repaired instead of disposing of it will be reimbursed half of the repair costs – up to a one-off amount of 100 euros per person this year. So far, a total of almost 60,000 euros has been paid out.
According to the consumer advice center, the most frequently requested bonus was for mobile phone repairs. But washing machines and dishwashers as well as coffee machines and vending machines were also increasingly in demand, followed by electric stoves. “A photo drone was certainly a surprise,” said the spokeswoman. According to the applicant, the drone was a total write-off after the collision with a tree, but could “fly again thanks to the repair bonus”.
Savings: four million tons of CO2 with prolonged use
According to the Ministry of the Environment, the European Environment Bureau has calculated that just extending the service life of all washing machines, notebooks, vacuum cleaners and smartphones in the EU by just one year would save around four million tonnes of carbon dioxide. That corresponds to the annual CO2– Two million car emissions. A longer service life of electrical devices also reduces the consumption of metals, rare earths, water and chemicals.
How much CO2 has already been saved in Thuringia, it has not yet been possible to say. “That would have to be calculated as part of a scientific evaluation of the project,” said the consumer advice center.