The EU legislation on Ecodesign and Energy Labelling aim at improving the energy efficiency of products, and providing information on product’s efficiency to consumers. It helps orientating the choices of informed consumers, and eliminate the least performing products from the market, contributing to the EU’s 2020 energy efficiency objective.
The Ecodesign Directive provides consistent EU-wide rules for improving the environmental performance of products, such as household appliances, information and communication technologies or engineering. The Directive sets out minimum mandatory requirements for the energy efficiency of these products.
The Energy Labelling Directive complements those Ecodesign requirements with obligations regarding consumer information, namely by the use of energy labels indicating the efficiency of the product or package, besides additional relevant information to the market and consumers.
The labelling and eco-design obligations for heaters and water heaters (LOT1 and LOT2) came into force on the 26th September 2015. The regulations on Lot 1 & 2, and in particular the package label, with its provision majorating systems including a solar thermal, represent a unique opportunity for the solar heat industry.
Solar thermal systems can be considered per, in a product label, when combined with other sources or when applied in a system, reflecting positively on the energy performance of the system on the package label. The requirements and in particular the package label imply new responsibilities for the entire solar thermal value chain: manufacturers, distributors, resellers, installers, certification bodies and test labs.
Therefore, Solar Heat Europe (ESTIF) main priority are:
- Support the good roll-out of the package label in market
- Strive for improving the legislative framework
Solar Heat Europe (ESTIF) will continue leading the industry through this process, aggregating efforts and promoting partnerships essential for the good roll-out of the package label in market. Solar Heat Europe (ESTIF) is playing a pivotal role in this process, assuring an adequate implementation of the package label, partnering with different organizations and supporting the active participation of the solar thermal industry. The LabelpackA+ project provides a good framework for this work (see more here).
Energy labelling policies can work not only to provide information to consumers on new products, but could also be applied to existing heating systems, as it is currently being done in some Member States, thus providing information on how (in)efficient are individual old boilers in households, and fostering consumers’ awareness and planned switch to renewable heating option. This is an important factor in order to promote a planned replacement of old systems. Most of the replacements are deemed to be urgent, due to a break-down ot malfunction of the current system, limiting the range of options for new system. When renovations are planned in advance, renewable heating technologies such as solar thermal are easier to be integrated in the systems. Promoting the labelling of existing heating systems would therefore encourage citizens to shift to more efficient and renewable appliances.