Once a distant idea, recent months have seen the arrival of ErP and with it major impacts for the heating industry.
The main aim for the ErP directive is to help to achieve the EU’s 20-20-20 target; 20% increase in energy efficiency, 20% reduction of CO2 emissions, and 20% renewables by 2020 – See more at: http://esmig.eu/page/20-20-20-goals . It will influence all space and water heaters, confirming that they meet minimum efficiency requirements, and demand the same type of energy efficiency labels as fridges and freezers.
The first part of the legislation is the Ecodesign Directive. This means that space heaters and combi space heaters that haven’t met their energy efficiency requirements, and haven’t received their CE mark, will not be for sale legally in the UK anymore.
The Energy Labelling Directive forms the second part of the legislation. From September 2015 onwards, all affected products will now require an efficiency rating and label, from A+++ to G.
Also not permitted under the new legislation are low-rated water heating products (such as those which might be rated in bands F or G).
At the start of the ErP directive the labelling will include the F and G classification but these will be phased out over time.
The new ErP labelling will look familiar as it is used on many household energy products already including fridges and dishwashers. For boilers and related products the label will show the efficiency band for heating and if applicable the hot water production and sound power level.
Of course, this does mean some additional work. Firstly, all staff in the industry will have to understand these new regulations and companies may have to provide relevant training.
There are many resources available to make the transition to ErP easier, including online toolkits, ErP calculators, information packs, and generated package labels.
Generally, an installer’s day-to-day work will not be as seriously affected as originally expected. However, one of the biggest changes is the energy labelling system. You now need to ensure there is an energy label for the boiler, the manufacturers are responsible for ensuring that this is done. As an installer you will be responsible for providing energy labelling for complete systems. This will mean calculating a figure based on all of the different components of the system, from the controls, any renewables to the boiler itself.
Installers need to fully understand what they can and cannot install legally under ErP, alongside the installation requirements of high-efficiency products.
To realise the benefits of ErP, installers need to go beyond their basic responsibilities to become more of an ‘energy advisor’ to their customers. Customers will value this good advice, it adds value and it will resonate well with them for the next time they require your services.
With any new industrial changes, there will an initial period of adjustment. You will need to fully understand what you can lawfully install and help the householder understand how to make the best choice for their home.
In terms of business, the Directive provides a better opportunity to sell packages of heating systems rather than just a single element.
For example, you can now sell controls and added eco-features to provide consumers with the best and most efficient solution.
Customers are more eco-friendly than ever and with new ErP legislations, they can find comfort in the fact they’re heating their homes while reducing their carbon footprint.
The recently implemented ErP laws may persuade potential customers to trade in their old, inefficient boiler for a brand new one, in a bid to both save money and be a more environmental home.
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