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Energy Related Products Directive – who benefits?

July 27, 2015 featured image

It would seem as though we have reached a state of confusion with ErP labels. Gas installers are scratching their heads wondering what the ErP is really all about. 75% of you feel underprepared and worse still, most don’t see the benefit of the labelling system.

Unnecessary bureaucracy?

A recent post on Twitter featuring an article about ErP labelling caused a stir. The discussion revolved around the role of the installer and how exactly would this be beneficial. We had questions like:

“If a boiler doesn’t have a label on it does that make it less efficient?”

“How will the public benefit, boilers will be no more efficient than they are currently, how does label & fiche improve?”

Whenever we see change in the industry we see something of a backlash. This seems to multiply when it comes from the EU. The UK has often been ahead of the game when it comes to energy efficiency and safety, so when something like energy labelling comes along, it feels like a waste of time to the industry.

Logic4training’s director, Mark Krull, explains:

“From the installer point of view (and the merchant and possibly manufacturers) it probably isn’t going to be particularly beneficial. Will it lead to an increase in efficiency? Probably not as believe it or not we are actually quite good at this in the UK.”

“We were one of the first countries to make condensing high efficiency boilers mandatory, lots of other EU countries have not done the same and this scheme is aimed them.”

“Will it lead to higher efficiency boilers? I doubt it in the short term. There is already talk of getting rid of the A+++ system and making it A-G again, moving the measurements to make current A+ boilers lower. “

“Policing the scheme will be done by the national measurements office. Over time I believe the label will be asked for when buying/selling a house. The biggest headache has been for the merchants and manufacturers, as they may face fines for selling products without the label”

ErP is not black and white for installers. It’s been difficult for all of us to get our heads around.

Boiler manufacturers are holding free workshops, seminars and training sessions to help you understand the labelling system and we are doing our best to publish articles and emails to help educate and inform.

EU policies to improve energy efficiency

On it’s own ErP labelling doesn’t mean a more efficient product. It should, however, be seen as one part of a bigger picture, with the EU setting a 20% energy savings target by 2020.

  • The EU has adopted a number of measures to improve energy efficiency in Europe. They include:
  • An annual reduction of 1.5% in national energy sales
  • EU countries making energy efficient renovations to at least 3% of buildings owned and occupied by central governments per year
  • Mandatory energy efficiency certificates accompanying the sale and rental of buildings
  • Minimum energy efficiency standards and labelling for a variety of products such as boilers, household appliances, lighting and televisions (EcoDesign)
  • The preparation of National Energy Efficiency Action Plans every three years by EU countries
  • The planned rollout of close to 200 million smart meters for electricity and 45 million for gas by 2020
  • Large companies conducting energy audits at least every four years
  • Protecting the rights of consumers to receive easy and free access to data on real-time and historical energy consumption.

Installers displaying a good level of knowledge to their customers, able to explain the ErP, will stand out from the installer who dismisses it.

So while installers in the UK may be scratching their heads wondering how this is going to help, it’s worth looking at the EU as a whole and all of the incentives above. In the long run, provided we stay in the European Union, we will all benefit from the plans being made and carried out over the next 5 years.

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