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Month: February 2018

Lot 20 of the Ecodesign Directive: Impact on the electrical heating sector

Energy efficiency has been an increasing focus across the world in recent years. In the UK there has been a raft of new regulations both from the Government and the European Union aimed at improving the energy efficiency of products, as well as promoting innovation and competition in the marketplace.

One such set of rules – the Ecodesign Directive – was introduced at the start of this year as part of the EU’s Energy Related Products (ErP) regulations, which aim to reduce carbon emissions by 20% by 2020. The legislation has been written into UK law and will still be applicable when we leave the EU.

The Ecodesign Directive lays down mandatory rules for specific products in order to improve their design and environmental credentials. It places a duty on manufacturers to make products which fulfil certain energy efficiency criteria. Part of this requires products to incorporate smart technologies to keep their running costs low and improve their energy efficiency. Any products that do not meet the criteria are no longer allowed to be part of the marketplace.

The changes may affect the initial product price but should lead to longer-term cost savings. Products manufactured before 2018 will still be allowed to be sold, and warranties on non-compliant items must still be upheld.

Part of the Ecodesign Directive includes a new energy labelling requirement, to enable identification of compliant products. This includes the inclusion of certain details on manufacturers’ and other websites featuring relevant products, as well as in the instructions for these products.

Lot 20

Products covered by the directive are outlined in 37 separate regulations called ‘lots’, which group them together according to their functionality. One of these, Lot 20, applies to products that heat our homes. It therefore looks set to have a big impact on the electrical heating industry, in both the domestic and commercial markets.

The requirements laid out in Lot 20 will affect everyone from manufacturers to end users. It means manufacturers can no longer make or import non-compliant products, and wholesalers can no longer buy or recommend new products which do not comply. Non-compliant products may still be sold until they are cleared through the market.

For electrical installers and contractors, it means they will be able to can assure their customers of a better quality product with high energy efficiency and low running costs.

For consumers, the regulations mean that any new products they purchase are guaranteed to be of a higher quality, have increased energy efficiency, be more cost effective, and feature innovative smart technologies. Although they will not be required to review and replace their heating, they may notice a difference in the products available should they carry out any refurbishments or replacements in the future.

The details

Lot 20 covers all local space heaters which use electricity, gas or liquid fuel, namely storage heaters, direct acting heaters, portable heaters, radiant heaters, electric fires, gas fires, underfloor heating and infra-red heaters.

The labelling requirements for products under Lot 20 are: inclusion of heat output, auxiliary electricity consumption, temperature control type (F2 compliance type) and additional features (F3 compliance type). Portable heaters must also include the following information: “This product is only suitable for well-insulated spaces or occasional use.”

Lot 20 specifies different categories of product which must fulfil minimum space heating energy efficiency requirements, as follows: