062 HPM 0415

HPM April 2015

Got a story? Ring us on 01732 748041 or e-mail twood@unity-media.com RENEWABLEENERGIES Understanding the ErP Directive Coming into force this year, compulsory energy labelling regulations under the new Energy-related Products (ErP) Directive are set to shape the heating and plumbing industry for the long-term. Phil Hurley, managing director at NIBE, explores the ins and outs of the legislation, the opportunity for installers, and what ErP labelling means for the future of the renewables industry... The Energy-related Products (ErP) Directive is a set of European regulations that cover the labelling and design of energy-related products. It’s part of the EU’s commitment to achieving its legally binding target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 20% by 2020. Under the ErP, from September 2015 it will be mandatory for certain products in European Economic Area countries - including the UK - to comply with set criteria for carbon emissions, minimum efficiency and maximum noise levels. The renewable heating products affected will be air source heat pumps (ASHPs), ground source heat pumps (GSHPs), and solar thermal collectors. Boilers, water heaters, cylinders, and combined heat and power systems with outputs of less than 400kW will also be covered. WHAT DOES IT MEAN FOR THE INDUSTRY? For the renewables industry, the most notable change will be on the energy labelling side. All products (including ASHPs, GSHPs and solar thermal systems) with an output of less than 70kW will require a product-specific energy label, identifying which energy efficiency band it belongs to. Bands will run from A+++ (very efficient) to G. As a rule of thumb, heat pumps will fall into the A+ or A++ bands, while a high-efficiency boiler is likely to be given an A rating. This will result in something very similar to the well-known energy labelling system seen on white goods, such as fridges, freezers and washing machines. WHAT DOES IT MEAN FOR INSTALLERS? As with any new or changing legislation, getting to grips with the ErP Directive is vital for installers. As the main WWW.HPMMAG.COM interface between manufacturers and consumers, they not only need to know how the new regulations will change the way they do their job, but they also need to understand how the directive will impact on the way they advise their customers. For instance, while it will be the manufacturers’ responsibility to provide the energy labelling for individual products under these new regulations, the onus will be on the installer to produce the ‘package label’ for the complete system. This will depend on the different components that make up the system (for example, a heat pump, a cylinder and a controls unit) - each of which will have its own energy label. Using this information, installers will need to calculate the overall system efficiency and the resulting figure must then be added to the package label in order to complete the install. These calculations will be part of both Microgeneration Certification Scheme standards and SAP from September, so now is the time to train up. Installers who do will be best placed to 62 APRIL 2015 HEATING & PLUMBING MONTHLY offer customers an all-round service and full expertise when the directive rolls out - whether they’re updating an existing system, or fitting a whole new one. What’s more, in a drive to improve the overall efficiency of customers’ systems, installers will be legally obliged to buy and fit only ErP-compliant products. As well as knowing what they can and can’t install from a legal point of view, they will also need to ensure the customer understands the choices available to them – helping them make an informed decision on which product or system is best. A HELPING HAND All this may sound like a lot to take on board, but don’t forget, all reputable manufacturers should be on hand to offer the right training, support and advice to guide installers through the learning process, and help them make the most out of the new regulations. For instance, we plan to provide installers with readymade package labels when they opt for complete systems from our product portfolio, taking the hassle out of complicated energy efficiency calculations. Ultimately, installers should see the introduction of the ErP Directive for what it is - a huge opportunity to boost sales and build customer relationships, by raising consumer awareness of the long-term financial and environmental benefits of renewables. Transparent, easy-to-understand energy labelling (which consumers are already familiar with, thanks to the current system used on white goods) will be a useful sales tool when it comes to talking customers through their options and making product recommendations. This familiarity will also make it much easier for customers themselves to compare products’ energy performance and consumption at a glance - encouraging them to make buying decisions based on lasting energy efficiency. Most importantly, making the benefits of technologies like heat pumps and solar thermal systems more accessible to consumers will help level the playing field between these and more widely known, traditional options such as gas boilers. LOOKING TO THE LONG-TERM While the directive’s introduction will be a welcome step in the right direction for the industry - one that is set to benefit installers and their customers alike - we would eventually like to see this legislation go even further. For example, enforcing compulsory minimum energy labelling ratings on all new-build heating systems would help the UK fulfil its own ambitious commitment to reduce emissions by 80% by 2050, as well as supporting the shorter-term 2020 targets set by the EU. In the meantime, however, the imminent rollout of the directive as it stands signals another encouraging shift towards a cleaner, greener heating landscape both in the UK and Europe and now is the time for installers to get ahead of the game. Those who are fully clued-up on new energy labelling regulations will be in the best possible position to deal with rising customer demand and, in turn, benefit from the long-term profit opportunities this brings. enquiry number 147 A heat pump energy label template


HPM April 2015
To see the actual publication please follow the link above