After several years in the making, the time is finally approaching for the European Union to release a new set of guidelines and regulations that will monitor the energy efficiency of certain appliances. Warewashers and other professional equipment that use large amounts of energy and water are the chief targets, but there are rumours that the regulations will also extend to a whole array of equipment. Here is what you need to know.
When is it happening?
The head of sustainable energy-using products in the UK’s Department for Environment and Climate Change, Mike Walker, predicted at a recent conference that the regulations would be agreed and take effect in January 2017, but a database that categorises products according to their energy efficiency might not be available until as late as 2019.
Why is it happening?
Monitoring the energy efficiency of products—especially in commercial and professional environments—has been deemed an important part of sustainability and environmental responsibility. Currently, a ratings system of A+++ to D is used for energy efficiency, but it may revert to the more extensive A to G format.
Walker commented: “What will really cause waves is that existing labels may be taken back to maximum C rating, with the A and B categories left empty to wait for future technological developments.” These new regulations are expected to encourage manufacturer accountability in energy standards and efficiency.
Who will it affect?
The changes will have a potentially broad impact. Although commercial warewashers and large-scale appliances will be a major target of improving energy efficiency, home appliances such as toasters and kettles may also be subject to the same ratings and regulations whether they are used by businesses or private consumers.
Manufacturers and large suppliers such as 247cateringsupplies will also be required to upload technical details of all their products to a database. This database will be accessed by regulators and testers. It will also enable potential buyers and consumers to make selections according to energy efficiency.
Further Information: Eco Design
Labelling and ranking products according to their energy efficiency is part of the EU’s overall ambition to minimise resource consumption and eliminate wasteful or poorly performing products from the market. Eco-design is believed to foster innovation and contribute to global accountability for energy use. A reliable labelling system, standardised testing, and transparency for consumers are all essential considerations.