European Solar Thermal Industry Federation

Energy labelling for heating devices – an opportunity for the consumer

Date: 25 Sep 2015
Category:

Brussels, 25 September 2015 - As from 26 September 2015, nearly all heating devices must bear labels indicating the energy efficiency of space heating systems, hot water devices and storage tanks. It will also mark the launch of a new type of label on the market: the package label. With this package label the consumer will have an indication of the energy efficiency of a system combining several devices, including renewable energy systems such as solar thermal. Product and package energy labels will provide consumers with comparable information on energy efficiency to help them choose more efficient and environmentally friendly heating solutions available on the market.

Consumers will get better guidance when looking for an energy efficient heating solution to cover their hot water and space heating needs. Henceforth, according to an European directive that will come into force in all EU countries, only heating systems with labels ranging from the lowest efficiency G to the highest A+++ should be offered by dealers and installers. The newly introduced system label will indicate the energy efficiency for systems combining different devices up to 70 kW. Currently, biomass boilers are exempt from the labelling requirements.

“This is a big step forward, since only renewable energies, including solar thermal energy, can reach the most efficient categories of A+ and above” says Robin Welling, President of the European Solar Thermal Industry Federation, ESTIF.

The introduction of the energy label for this type of products presents a new challenge. While the label was mainly covering electrical devices; oil, gas, electricity or renewable energies such as heat pump or solar thermal can also be used to generate heat. Information on the label varies according to the heating source and bespoke solutions can be offered to suit consumer needs. Most customers will rely on the installer or other qualified professional to select the right system according to their needs and means. Therefore, they must be made aware of the different options, namely those reaching the highest energy efficiency classes, i.e. those using renewable energy.

An EU project helps the installers

While renewable heating solutions are the most energy efficient, they often are the most complex ones, and it is of paramount importance to provide information and training opportunities to manufacturers, dealers and installers. The LabelPack A+ project, supported by the European Commission and with partners in six different European countries, is addressing the sector’s information and training needs. It focuses, in particular, on the system or package label as this will require a more active involvement from the dealer or installer. Indeed, according to EU-regulations, they have to calculate the package label themselves. “To ensure that all installers and dealers are fully informed and to facilitate their task, LabelPack A+ has developed several resources available online and in different languages, from a package labelling calculation tool to training material and consumer information, to help professionals and consumers deal with this new challenge” says Pedro Dias, ESTIF Secretary General and coordinator of the LabelPack A+ project.

Although not perfect, the mandatory energy label for heating solutions provides more information and advice to the consumer. It clearly shows that systems using renewable energy are the most energy efficient ones and, while often necessitating greater investment expenditure, they have the lowest running costs. Combined with professional training of the installers, the label introduction will help consumers make conscious decisions.

LabelPack A+ receives funding via the Horizon2020 programme of the European Union. It provides information on the package label and offers trainings for experts, dealers and installers. To find more information, please visit www.labelpackaplus.eu

 

 

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