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With global warming being recognised as one of the biggest problems facing the world, we are continually looking for ways to save energy and reduce carbon emissions. An example of this can be seen in the new ErP directive which came in to force in September 2015. ErP refers to Energy related Products which includes any products which have an impact on energy consumption, whether they use it directly or not. The directive has been introduced by the EU, in response to their target of reducing energy use by 20% and increasing renewable energy by 20%, with an overall target of 2020. This directive may have gone somewhat unnoticed but will have implications for a wide variety of manufacturers. So, what is this new legislation and why is it important to you?
What is this Directive?
The directive in being implemented in order to improve energy efficiency within a variety of products. In previous years we have seen similar legislation which has led the labelling of certain white goods with an energy rating. The product receives an energy efficiency rating and this is then displayed on the device and therefore customers can clearly see what they are buying. The difference with the new directive is that other devices are being considered, including boilers, water heaters and other heating products. To be specific, the devices in question are heaters with an output of 70kW or less and storage tanks with a volume of 500 litres or less. It should also be noted that under the new rules, water heating products with a low energy rating (F and G) will not be permitted.
Who will it affect?
The ErP directive will mainly affect manufacturers but it does also have implications for installers. Manufactures of the devices in question will have to ensure that all of their products are suitably labelled. When it comes to installers, the issue can become slightly more complex. The labelling of complete heating systems falls on the installer, not the manufacture. This means the installer will have to calculate the efficiency of the entire system and then provide the appropriate label. Although there are no obligations placed on the consumer, this directive will directly affect them. It means there will be a greater degree of transparency when it comes to energy efficiency within heating products. This will have a knock on affect to customers who will be using more efficient products and therefore reducing their household costs and their carbon footprint.
What if I need help?
The directive places much more responsibility on installers and this can be daunting but there is help out there. For example, when calculating the energy rating for a heating system, installers can go online and use an ErP calculator. Alternatively, installers can use the blank fiche found in the back of the product manual. There may also be some misunderstanding on the directive itself, for example what constitutes a heating system and when responsibility falls on the installer and not the manufacturer. If this is the case, there is a wealth of information which can be found online. There has been a period of adjustment in order to accommodate those who may not have heard about the new rules. That being said, this will only last so long and we should remember that this is an official EU wide piece of legislation which will therefore incur punishment when not adhered to.
Official Government Website: