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EcoDesign EuP will Impact UK Heating Industry

Sep 9, 2008
In August 2007 the government has put into force the Energy Using Products (EuP) Directive which provides a high level blueprint for setting EcoDesign requirements for products that use energy. This is highly important for any company involved in manufacturing or distribution of products using energy, as it will be essential to comply with the new directive to retain the product?s CE mark. Holding a CE mark is crucial for any manufacturer in order to be able to sell their products in the wider EU market.

At the time of writing this article the publically available information on the directive is incomplete, making it difficult to gauge the impact it will have on manufacturers of boilers and heating equipment based in the UK. As such, the local manufacturers are calling the government to make more information public in order to allow them to put the right procedures in place and limit any disruption to manufacturing and distribution further down the supply chain.

Evaluating currently available information regarding the Energy Using Products Directive shows that there are new guidelines regarding labelling and packaging of the heating components. An important new point in the new directive is that the heating components will have to be uniquely and separately labelled and packaged. Each boiler, central heating controller or Thermostatic Radiator Valve will have to be separately packaged and labelled in order to meet the new requirement. This requirement is thus expected to put a burden on small manufacturers and distributors within the plumbing and heating sector.

It is envisaged that such requirement might force some strategic alliances between small players. Small manufacturers of boilers, central heating controllers and other components may find it easier to partner up with their competitors, suppliers or even customers up and down the supply chain, in order to better cope with the new requirements.

Key players within the heating equipment manufacturing industry have raised their concerns that the timing allowed to prepare for the new directive is potentially compromising their ability to prepare for it. As the new directive is likely to come into force in 2009, they call the government to release more information about the particular requirements of the new directive as soon as possible. One issue requires immediate attention is the clarification of the exact point of required labelling of the components along the manufacturing and supply chain. This issue has major impact on the interaction between the various players within the industry (such as the manufacturers, the distributors, merchants etc.).

Initial indication shows that the directive will use the full system when calculating its performance. This is compared to the current approach which is based on the original heat source (such as a typical boiler). The performance will be scored against a rating scale of between A and G, with the performance and rating to be labelled on each component. The new directive instructs that systems that score below level D will be banned from 2011. Furthermore, systems that score below band A will be banned from 2013.

It is fair to say that there are several important issues addressed by the new directive that will help the customers as well as the manufacturers and distributors. However, it is crucial to make the implementation of the directive rigorous but at the same time smooth. It is therefore important to work with the key stakeholders within the process to ensure broad acceptance and successful roll out for the new directive.
About the Author
Tal Potishman is editor of Heating Central, which publishes content about UK boilers, plumbers, underfloor heating and solar thermal heating. He focuses on helping save costs and the environment by consulting on high-efficiency heating systems.
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