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Industry rallies against EU labelling proposal

European contractors and manufacturers have united against the European Union’s forthcoming Energy Labelling Directive review.

European contractors and manufacturers have united against the European Union’s forthcoming Energy Labelling Directive review, which looks to apply the energy consumption rating found on TVs and washing machines to refrigeration, air conditioning and heat pump (RACHP) products.

In a position paper jointly signed by manufactures’ association EPEE, contractors’ associations AREA and AIE, and building engineering services association GCP Europe, together with installers of electrical, electro-technical and electronic systems, it stated: “We have strong concerns about the extension of the Energy Label to the area of B2B equipment. Indeed, the Energy label is not the most appropriate tool for providing information to professional users and can be counter-productive.”

“A professional product will work differently depending on the size of the application it is used in. RACHP systems are a very complex assemblies and often tailor-made since they are designed for specific customer needs.”

The European Commission (EC) previously launched a study to review the Energy Labelling Directive and specific aspects of the Ecodesign Directive and is expected to publish its proposals by the summer, together with the Ecodesign Work Plan for 2015-2017.

The signatories stated their commitment to energy-efficiency, including the aforementioned Eco Design, which sets mandatory standards for energy-using products, as well as reiterating the benefits of correct design, installing and maintenance of systems.

Graeme Fox, AREA past president, said: “This was originally designed for white goods and in that sense it works well, as it’s only a single plug in item – the rating you see will be the rating you get.

“However, if this crosses over into commercial territory you’ll have a situation where the contractor will be held to account for meeting the listed energy consumption on products – as systems using RACHP products vary in size and scope this approach is not suitable.”

Commenting on the EC’s forthcoming decision in the summer, EPEE said: “We are looking forward to the Commission’s proposals and will react in due time with a concrete proposal if needed.

“We recommend the Commission carefully evaluates the label in the area of professional equipment as this is not the most appropriate information tool for industrial products and would have detrimental effects.

Similarly, we recommend a very careful assessment of a systematic use of a “dealer/installer label.

“Indeed, the lack of practical experience to date, uncertainties about its enforceability, as well as the possible negative impact on contractors and innovation should be duly considered.”

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