Get ready for ErP

From September 26 this year, many water heating products will need to meet minimum energy performance criteria and have an energy label in order to be sold in the UK and other countries in the European Economic Area.

05 March 2015

ErP compliantThe Ecodesign and Energy Labelling Regulations for water heaters and hot water storage tanks were entered into the Official Journal of the European Union in September 2013. These implementing measures of the Ecodesign requirements for the Energy related Products (ErP) Directive (2009/125/EC) (generally referred to as the ErP Directive), and the Energy Labelling of ErP Directive (2010/30/EU), set out what the industry needs to do to become compliant with the new legislation from September 26 2015.
From then, water heaters with a rated output equal to or below 400kW and storage tanks with a storage volume of up to 2,000 litres will need to meet minimum energy performance criteria.

Complementing and working in conjunction with Ecodesign, the Energy Labelling Directive will see water heaters with outputs of up to 70kW and storage tanks with storage volumes of up to 500 litres classified with an efficiency band (similar to that seen on white goods such as fridge freezers and washing machines). They will initially range from A to G, but eventually extend to A+++ (and G will be removed in September 2017). Conventional water heaters will have an A-G/F classification, while A+, A++ and A+++ will be reserved for products that use renewable energy.

Manufacturers will be responsible for testing their products, supplying an appropriate label and providing a technical 'fiche'. Compliance will be enforced through market surveillance, via the National Measurement Office (NMO). Directly heated water heater product labels will have a standard format, showing the energy efficiency band and a tapping pattern, with the latter providing guidance on the size of property the product is suitable for. There are 10 tapping patterns, also known as size or load profiles, ranging from 3XS (small, single basin handwashing applications) to 4XL (high volume multi dwelling or large commercial applications). Indirectly heated storage tanks will be rated according to their standing heat loss.
It's worth noting that electric waterheaters, are likely to achieve a very similar energy efficiency rating, due to a fuel factor for the use of electricity being applied. Most will have a rating of C. To assist in differentiating product efficiencies other factors will need to be compared. The most useful is likely to be the volume of mixed hot water delivered at 40oC (the V40 figure). However, these other factors will not be displayed on the energy efficiency label - instead, to obtain this information, the product's technical fiche will need to be referred to, together with a number of other technical parameters. Manufacturers will make this information available in technical literature and on their websites.

If a number of components are installed as a system then an overall efficiency rating and customised energy label will be required for the complete package, although the individual products will still have specific labels. While the manufacturer is responsible for providing product labels, anyone who sells, hires, offers for hire-purchase or displays products to end users is responsible for generating a package label if required, and undertaking the necessary calculations. Known as the 'Dealer', this could be a manufacturer, merchant, installer or contractor. If a product can be installed as a package, the manufacturer will provide a part-filled label in the literature pack. It will include some information specific to the product, but details about the other system parts will be hand written on by the Dealer. There is a template for the package label, and no deviation is allowed in terms of the format. The overall efficiency of the package has to be calculated in accordance with the Regulations - but there will be calculation tools available to help from manufacturers such as Heatrae Sadia.

Where water heating is concerned, a package would contain one or more water heater and one or more solar device. According to the relevant definitions in the Regulations, a solar device is made up of a solar collector, a solar hot water storage tank or a pump in the collector loop. A solar hot water storage tank is defined as a hot water storage tank storing heat energy produced by one or more solar collector. This means that a solar device always contains a solar collector. A combination of products can still be regarded as a 'product' rather than a 'package' if they have been tested together and are defined by one reference number in the manufacturer's pricelist. Different components can be delivered separately and still be a 'product'.

Ultimately, the Ecodesign and Labelling Directives should be welcomed by manufacturers, contractors and specifiers. They will ensure that only the most efficient water heaters are being manufactured, sold and installed, making it easier to choose energy efficient products, and reducing the end user's energy costs and carbon emissions as a result. 

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