National Measurement Office (NMO) is preparing to enforce the forthcoming Ecodesign and energy labelling regulations.
Recently appointed Ecodesign enforcement authority the National Measurement Office (NMO) is preparing to enforce the forthcoming Ecodesign and energy labelling regulations for professional storage cabinets and commercial refrigeration products.
Due to be implemented on 1 January 2016 and 1 January 2017 respectively, professional and commercial refrigerating appliances will subsequently come equipped with an energy label for ease of comparison for customers, and will therefore be tested and labelled to comply with the requirements for their intended use.
While the NMO declined to comment on which areas will be targeted, it did state: “Active enforcement involves market assessment, using a number of enforcement methods such as documentation inspection and test purchasing from suppliers, rather than just responding to complaints.”
Matthew Eglinton, NMO compliance Officer, said: “We operate a risk-assessment model when carrying out market surveillance; we are unable to disclose who is under the spotlight.”
Chris Playford, market and development director at Foster Refrigerator, said: “We recognise that implementing such a huge new system will have its challenges for the industry.
“However, it is far better for customers to have a robust benchmarking system to which the entire industry complies in order to avoid confusion and ensure trust in energy usage testing, so that fair comparisons are made – something which is not currently easy for customers to do.
“The role of the enforcement body is fundamental to the Ecodesign directive. We believe it to be equally critical to validate product claims at all levels of the energy ladder, whether the product is an A or G ranking. We therefore do expect the enforcement body to validate product claims at all rankings.”
The NMO has said it is currently bringing the issue to the attention of the industry. Mr Eglington said: “Since legislation is not currently in place, our priority is to raise awareness of the NMO and our role as the market surveillance agency for ecodesign and energy labelling regulations to industry.”
The NMO also confirmed that contact with industry bodies has been made. Mr Eglington said: “NMO have been in contact with FETA; attending a meeting in January to highlight our presence and our commitment to working with UK businesses. We will continue to offer support for industry bodies up to and after the implementation of the legislation”
Michael Duggan, technical Manager at FETA, said: “The Cabinet & Coldstore Section within the BRA has been following the Ecodesign directive as it relates to commercial refrigeration cabinets. Companies in BRA are fully behind efforts to improve efficiency of equipment and systems and are already taking steps towards this for their own equipment.
“Members are waiting for the final draft regulations for refrigerated display cabinets to be published [expected March 2015] and then they plan to prepare industry guidance. Members
have recently held discussions
with the National Measurement Office.”
As further information is made available to the NMO from the European Commission, it is intended that this will be appropriately shared in order to minimise regulatory impact to industry. The Office also operates an online enquiry system for industry questions (see below).
John Austin-Davies, past president of the British Refrigeration Association, concluded: “The basis of using the National Measurement Office to oversee the performance testing makes sense, but there needs to be close cooperation with the Industry using bodies such as the British Refrigeration Association, to ensure that the difficulties explained above are understood and taken into account.
“So far so good, but this assumes the UK is an island without import and export, so fixing things here in a satisfactory way is just a tiny part of the discussion.
“Unless the scheme in every other EU country is aligned, then the principle of fair trade and true comparison is nonsense. At this point a whole new debate starts.”