ECO-DESIGN AND ENERGY LABELLING

Legal framework

The Ecodesign Directive and energy labelling are an effective tool for improving the energy efficiency of the products. The Ecodesign directive provides EU-wide rules for improving the environmental performance of products, such as households’ appliances, information and communication technologies or engineering. It sets the minimum mandatory requirements for the energy efficiency of these products. The Energy Labelling Regulation complements those Ecodesign requirements with mandatory labelling requirements. 

Product-specific regulations

The Ecodesign Directive is implemented through product-specific regulations that are directly applied in all EU countries:

  1. Ecodesign Regulation

  2. Energy Labelling Regulation

Working plans on Ecodesign Directive

Both, the Ecodesign and Energy Labelling Directive are framework directives and indicate conditions and criteria to for binding requirements specific to each product group. The Article 16 (1) of the Ecodesign Directive foresees that each three years Commission has to publish a working plan setting out an indicative list of energy-related product groups.

The latest Working Plan 2016-2019 sets out the Commission’s working priorities for the period 2016-2019. It is building on the work on the basis of the two previous Working plans from the periods 2009-2011 and 2012-2014.

The new working plan generally indicates:

  • Ongoing work and upcoming reviews of existing product-specific measures;

  • Identifies additional product groups to be examined (via stakeholders’ consultations, impacts assessments, etc where REHVA contributes regularly);

  • Examines how ecodesign will contribute to better circular economy objectives;

  • According to the reviews of the existing measures and new measures for the new products, it estimates better potential to deliver 50Mtoe of annual primary energy savings in 2030 (especially measures for air heating and cooling products).

  • The importance of the Consultation forum, with bringing together different stakeholders in decision making process.

Energy efficiency of energy-related products (ErP)

The last extension of Ecodesign directive was in 2009, which extended its scope to include energy-related products (ErP), with a view to expanding the number of energy-efficient and environmentally friendly products, available at the market. The Eco design regulation N°1253/2014 addressed the energy performance, especially on ventilation units and set energy performance requirements for complete unit including fans, filters and a heat recovery system. From January 1st 2016 all new ventilation units placed on the market in the EU conformed to the applicable requirements. In the beginning of 2018, the ecodesign efficiency measures became increasingly more stringent.

New ErP (energy related products), including solar panels and building automation and monitoring systems, are now being assessed under the 2016-2019 working plan.

Energy labelling of products and buildings

The revised EU Regulation setting a framework for energy labelling simplifying and updating the energy efficiency labelling requirements for products sold in the EU. In the future, all products will be labelled on a new, updated and clearer scale from A (most efficient) to G (least efficient). This system will gradually replace the current system of A+++ to G labels, which as a result of the development of ever more energy efficient products in recent years no longer enables consumers to distinguish clearly between the most energy efficient items. Rescaling shall take place when 30% of products sold on the EU market fall into the top energy efficiency class A, or when 50% of these products fall into the top two energy efficiency classes A and B. The new scale will help consumers make better informed purchasing choices. A public product database with a compliance section and an online portal aims at supporting market surveillance authorities and provide consumers with additional information about the products will be developed.

In addition, a product registration database will allow the public to consult product labels and information sheets, making it easier to compare the energy efficiency of household appliances. The Regulation also requires manufacturers to inform consumers if software or firmware updates could reduce a product's energy efficiency. It bans the use of 'defeat devices', which alter a product's performance under test conditions.

Manufacturers of items sold in EU countries are also required to follow Ecodesign legislation, which sets minimum standards for the environmental performance of products.

As from 1 January 2019, suppliers (manufacturers, importer or authorised representatives) need to register their appliances, which require an energy label in the European Product Database for Energy Labelling (EPREL) before selling them on the European market.

Regulations related to HVAC sector

Heating, cooling (Lot 20, Lot 21)

  1. Commission Regulation (EU) 2016/2281 implementing Directive 2009/125/EC and establishing a framework for the setting of ecodesign requirements for energy-related products, with regards to ecodesign requirements
  2. Impact assessment document (SWD(2016)422)
  3. Commission guidelines 2018 accompanying Regulation (EU) 2016/2281 with regard to ecodesign requirements for air heating products, cooling products, high temperature process chillers and fan coil units

Solid Fuel boilers (Lot 1, Lot 2)

Ventilation units (Lot 10, Lot 6)

  1. Commission Regulation (EU) 1253/2014 on ventilation units
  2. Guidelines accompanying Regulation 1253/2014 with regard to the energy labelling of residential ventilation units

Air conditioners and comfort fans

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