What are Heat Pumps?
Our Guide to the Energy Related Products Directive (ErP)
Tuesday 1st August 2017
The Energy Related Products Directive or ErP (2009/125/EC) is a key part of the European Union's drive to encourage consumers to use more energy efficient products. This is a two-part strategy. Firstly, the ErP requires manufacturers to produce energy-using products that meet stringent minimum performance standards. And secondly, these products are clearly labelled using a standard methodology so that consumers can quickly understand the energy efficiency of the products they purchase. The ErP therefore has two main parts: the EcoDesign regulations and the Energy Labelling regulations. This market transformation strategy has proved highly successful with consumer goods such as fridges and freezers, where it is very rare to find anything below an A rated product available on the high street. The ErP Directive relating to heating (space and hot water) equipment comes into force from 26th September 2015. From this point it will be illegal to manufacture or import into the EU products which do not meet the new criteria.
The ErP is a comprehensive legislation that will eventually cover 'any product that uses, generates, transfersor measures energy, whether electricity, gas or fossil fuel'. The ultimate aim is to cut the EU's use of primary energy and this is at the heart of calculations on energy use applied in the ErP. The clear goals of the ErP disguise what is in fact a highly complex exercise - to make it possible for buyers to compare directly technologies that are actually quite different in how they operate. This is particular true when we look at space and water heating technologies.
Alongside the new minimum standards that manufacturers must meet is the energy labeling scheme. This is a very important aspect of the ErP as labels are intended to provide consumers with clear information on product performance, and to allow them to make easy comparisons
between different types of product. For space heaters, the energy efficiency labels coming into force in 2015 will run from G (the lowest) to A++. The ultimate aim of energy labelling is that the lowest scoring products will eventually become obsolete. Space heaters must carry an energy label appropriate to their product. For example, in the case of heat pumps, the label must also show noise emissions. Heat pump labels will also show a European temperature map displaying three indicative temperature zones. This is considered important for heat pumps as performance can be affected by climate. As well as a label, each product must also have a 'fiche'. This contains more detailed information on how the classifications of the label have been achieved, and it must be provided in the product manual or other literature. Heaters on display should carry the correct Energy Label, and advertisements should reference the SSHEE class (A++ to G).