Energy Labelling regulations – what installers need to know

The next phase of the Ecodesign and Energy Labelling regulations will come into effect on 26 September 2015. Christian Engelke discusses what the labelling scheme means for heating products, highlighting the large number of unknowns for the industry.
The new regulations will cover all domestic and commercial heat generators, water heaters and hot water storage products sold within the EU.
Right label webThe Ecodesign and Labelling requirements are part of the Energy related Products Directive (ErP), which is designed to help the EU achieve its 20-20-20 target of reducing energy use and carbon emissions by 20%, and increasing the share of renewable energies by 20% by 2020.
The directive requires that heating appliances – such as gas boilers, heat pumps, oil boilers, cylinders and CHP with up to 400kW output – meet set minimum criteria regarding their energy consumption, efficiency and carbon emissions. Heat pumps will also be assessed, based on noise. Solar thermal will make a positive impact on the energy efficiency results of any heat generator that it is added to.
The new legislation will make products that don’t meet the minimum criteria unfit for sale anywhere in Europe, including the UK. This will force manufacturers to address the issue of energy efficiency and reduced carbon emissions over the entire product life-cycle of the heating product. The directive doesn’t, at this stage, include biomass (solid fuel) and biogas-driven heat generators.
Modernising the market
In addition to removing products from the market that do not meet the minimum criteria, the European Commission hopes that consumers will come to prefer more energy-efficient appliances. The expected result is that inferior products will eventually be withdrawn, and there will be a general drive forward in the modernisation of energy systems at a broad level.
The energy ratings will be supplied by the manufacturer via labels on individual new products. However, it will be the responsibility of installers to calculate the efficiency of a multi-technology system and provide the label.
At present, a system boiler and DHW cylinder are not classed as a multi-technology ‘pack’ and so will not require a ‘system’ label to be calculated and produced. The label will show the power consumption in such a manner that it will be possible to compare the efficiency with other systems and is intended to work in conjunction with product efficiency manufacturing legislation.
Graded A to G (A being the most efficient), products will be rated according to their noise levels, heat output, hot water performance and total efficiency value – in a similar format to the existing labelling on white goods.
The legislation means that in 2015 atmospheric boilers will be excluded from sale. This does not represent a large impact to the UK. However, from 2016, non-condensing boilers will also be excluded.
It is worth noting that the addition of controls will add efficiency gains to products of 1% to 5%. For example, adding weather compensation to a boiler may increase efficiency by 3.5%.
Additional challenges
There are a number of unknowns regarding how the directive will work and how the UK market will react to the changes. At Viessmann, we will be monitoring these and intend to update heating professionals as soon as the information is available.
How will Building Regulations be affected? How will SAP, which is part of the Building Regs, change and affect the efficiency calculation on Sedbuk? What will be the percentage gains from the additional controls? Will consumers value the labelling? Do installers know and understand their obligations? Will merchants support by offering a system labelling solution?
We believe that manufacturers should be putting their in-depth product knowledge to good use, and helping heating and plumbing professionals to empower end-users to make informed choices about the heating products and systems they pick.
Viessmann is in the process of building tools for labelling and calculation. These will be available to trained installers to help them with the system labelling elements for which they are responsible.
It is important that suppliers and merchants ensure that they communicate that product labels are not a perfect guarantee of performance. Having invested in a higher performing system, consumers must continue to be educated on how to use it to get the best out of it.
[author image=”” ]Christian Engelke joined Viessmann in 2007, tasked with overseeing the manufacturer’s product portfolio for the UK. He is responsible for all technical matters, from product performance to systems design, and Viessmann’s training academy. Responsible for developing and launching one of the first pre-mix boilers in the UK, Christian came to England in 1996 and has been ingrained in the British market ever since. Alongside his role at Viessmann, Christian is involved with a number of trade associations to support the industry in shaping the heating market to become more energy efficient.[/author]