This month sees the introduction of the ErP Directive – a Europe-wide labelling scheme for energy related products. Here, Martyn Bridges, director of marketing and technical support at Worcester, Bosch Group, explains what the new initiative will mean for installers day-to-day:
“As of 26th September, the Energy Related Product (ErP) Directive will require labels to be placed on all energy-related products in the domestic and light commercial heating sectors. While the development of the scheme is a sign of the Government and European Commissions’ continued commitment to reducing carbon emissions, the extra process is something many installers are saying they could do without, with more noting they are confused by how it will affect them.
“To help, we’ve drawn together a list of the top ten questions installers are asking in order to demonstrate just how quick and straightforward the ErP directive will be to implement. It’s not as complicated as you might think…
- What is energy labelling?
The biggest impact of the ErP Directive, in terms of daily work, is likely to be the Energy Labelling aspect.
This involves the kind of label you’ve probably seen on household appliances, such as washing machines, televisions and fridges being issued for all boilers, water heaters and other heating products up to 70kW. Hot water storage cylinders under 500 litres in capacity will also require a label in line with regulation too.
- What is a fiche?
A fiche is the name for a technical datasheet which holds the efficiency information for a product. It is the fiche that allows installers to calculate an overall efficiency percentage and provide a corresponding band for a system. These bands run from a G-rating, all the way through to an A +++ rating and are vital to the process.
- Where do I find the fiche?
Each product will be supplied with a fiche containing the efficiency, Nox, sound levels etc.
- What should I do if I’m only installing a boiler?
The short an answer to this is: nothing. As part of the directive, energy labels for individual heating appliances and hot water technologies will be supplied by the manufacturer. So if a single boiler is being fitted this label will cover the installation. All you, as the installer, will need to do is ensure that customers receive this energy label when the appliance is fitted and explain what the ratings mean.
- How do I label a system containing multiple products?
Systems combining several heating appliances or with controls included will also need to be labelled. This “package” label will summarise the percentage efficiency of the system as a whole, rather than each individual product. The efficiency of the overall package can be calculated using the efficiency or consumption figures listed on the product fiche (see question 6).
Several manufacturers are launching online tools and programmes designed to help installers input these figures and create a package label quite easily. The ErP Label Generator on Worcester’s website enables installers to generate labels for systems involving multiple products by selecting the various technologies used in the installation. The Label Generator also allows you to access specific product labels, so replacement or missing ones can be downloaded. To do this, simply search for the Worcester product you need a label for using either its name or part number and download the label that you require.
- How would I fill in a fiche?
All product installation manuals provide ErP efficiency data. In order to build up a package label for the system as a whole, simply insert the data into the relevant box from the information on the fiche. In many cases, the information needed can be found in the installation manual of the product, on the page where ErP Classes are detailed. The multiple efficiency percentages are then combined to give an overall efficiency level. Once completed, the form is given to the customer for their records.
For a detailed guide on how to complete a fiche please see this Worcester webinar.
- Is it always my responsibility to produce a label for a multi-product system?
The person who puts the package together and hands it over to the end-user is responsible for producing this system label. For example, this could be the merchant or manufacturer if they supply a complete package under one part number, or the installer if items have been bought individually. Similarly, if the merchant sells directly to the end user it would be the merchant who must provide the label if they have assembled a system package from individual items. Basically whoever hands over the system to the end user is responsible for handing over a label as well.
- What should I do if I am installing controls?
The ErP directive only applies to newly installed products, so installers fitting controls to an existing boiler won’t need to supply a label.
However, when installing a new boiler or heat source with new heating controls, installers must fill out a product fiche, as above, and generate a system label.
The Directive defines each of the various control options by a particular class. The control classification system works by rewarding each class with a certain percentage uplift in system efficiency. Classes run from Class I for a simple on/off room thermostat, through to Class VIII for a multi-sensor room control used with modulating heating appliances.
- How long will it take?
The fiche itself should take no more than a couple of minutes to complete with the whole process taking up to ten minutes at most.
- What are the benefits?
The ultimate aim of the system label is to recognise those systems which are particularly efficient and allow end-users to see how the performance of their system compares to other types available.
For installers, the Energy Label can provide a simple sales tool used to illustrate to homeowners how much more efficient their new boiler will be in comparison to an older boiler or highlight the benefits that controls and the addition of renewable technologies can have on a system’s band rating and efficiency.
“At Worcester, we hope that by compiling this run-down of the most common questions and queries, we’ve received from the trade, installers won’t be daunted by what the directive requires and will be able to see the benefits of such a scheme.”
For more information on, or to use, Worcester’s ErP labelling tool click here.