Ben Wallbridge, Energy & Sustainability Assessor, Darren Evans Assessments.
How the ERP Directive puts the onus on manufacturers for energy efficiency and makes life easier for consumers.
The Energy-related Products (ErP) Directive sets out a legal framework across the EU to help drive specification of more efficient products which reduce energy and resource consumption. The idea is that this will make a big contribution to meeting the EU’s ‘20-20-20’ target, namely a 20% reduction in EU greenhouse gas emissions, a 20% increase in energy efficiency, and 20% energy from renewables, which is targeted to happen by the year 2020.
The ErP Directive is not new by any means, having been implemented back in October 2009, and we are all familiar with seeing the G to A+++ rating on appliances such as refrigerators, washing machines and dishwashers. As of September 26th 2015 however the range of the Directive has been extended to encompass all residential and commercial heating products.
The ErP Directive actually comprises two separate directives: Ecodesign and Energy Labelling. The Ecodesign Directive is chiefly for manufacturers and sets out rules and mandatory requirements for the energy efficiency of products which they have to comply with in order to sell those products within the EU. The Energy Labelling Directive compliments the Ecodesign aspect with mandatory labelling requirements intended to make life easier for consumers.
The Energy Labelling Directive is intended to help communicate complicated information in a simplified format to consumers in order to allow them to make informed decisions without having any specialist knowledge of the product. All new heating products should now have an ErP energy label ranged from G to A+++ however if one or more heating products are used in combination to make a system (such as a boiler with heating controls or solar device) then an installer will be required to produce a document called a ‘fiche.’ This essentially calculates the efficiency of the combination of heating products to give an overall system efficiency/rating.
Installing more than one heating product in this way is very commonly seen currently as boilers now have separate heating controls. Most large boiler manufacturers offer the production of a fiche as a free service, however there are templates available online if a specifier wished to produce one themselves. The fiche should be left with the property owner when completed so they know how efficient their system is.
What does this mean for specifiers? Best practice would normally dictate that a specifier would always choose from latest range of products produced by a boiler manufacturer to achieve optimum energy efficiency, depending on the boiler type required. In doing this, technically they will receive an ErP compliant boiler as all new heating products available to the UK market should be ErP compliant, however the specifier should always double-check.
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