Concern over the number of non-compliant pumps entering the UK market has been highlighted by the British Pump Manufacturers Association (BPMA) and leading industry suppliers.
“There continues to be growing evidence of, as well as major concerns regarding, the presence of illegal pump imports entering the UK from other countries,” the BPMA said in a statement.
It gave special mention to products originating in Asia that do not meet the strict demands of the Energy-related Products Directive (ErPD).
Despite continued dialogue with the National Measure Regulatory Office (NMRO) over the past two years, however, no action is planned to remove illegal products from the market.
In addition to concerns over efficiency and safety, because of a lack of proper testing the illegal products are causing further concern over their capacity to “cost bona fide companies millions of pounds in lost revenue”, the statement added.
This could place jobs at risk, as well as affecting the reputations of some suppliers.
“We need a plan to protect our industries, reputations and borders from the unscrupulous exploitation of companies to whom standards are irrelevant,” said the BPMA.
It plans to continue to canvas for change “at every available opportunity”.
This message received endorsement from Grundfos Pumps managing director Peter Reynolds, who said his company has “big concerns regarding the NMRO and its inept approach to the whole issue regarding noncompliant products and their seemingly unrestricted access” to the UK market.
“We have all recently watched with a mixture of shock and disbelief the unfolding Volkswagen story,” he said.
“Taken back to basics, this is a situation that has come about because motor efficiency data went unchecked and unverified.”
Mr Reynolds said with pumps accounting for 10% of the world’s electricity consumption, the situation “demands to be given a much higher profile and significantly more focus”.
Additional support for the BPMA message came from Baxi Genuine Parts general manager David Willetts, who also provided advice for contractors and installers: “As a supplier of high-efficiency ErPD-compliant pumps, we wholeheartedly support the BPMA’s efforts to address the availability of non-compliant parts.
“Non-ErPD compliant pumps have not been tested and approved to the same legislative standard as genuine compliant products, which are guaranteed to run more efficiently and cost effectively.
“While industry officials continue to work to stem the flow of non-compliant parts into the market, installers should remain vigilant as to the origin of the parts they are fitting to ensure the integrity of their work and protect the consumer from low-quality, inefficient products that will lead to increased electricity bills and therefore increased environmental damage.”
Xylem HVAC & Commercial Global Business Unit director Peter Agneborn also gave his views on the problem: “More than a year ago we were asking for effective market surveillance across the EU in order to stop illegal circulator pumps from coming into the market.
“This has not yet occurred in the UK despite all of BPMA’s efforts, which we strongly support. This lack of action undermines the investment Xylem is making for researching and developing advanced, more efficient products that meet and exceed the latest EU regulations.
“We hope the government will soon take firm action to solve this situation, enabling diligent companies to compete in a fair and regulated market.”
This article appears on the front page of the 4 November edition of H&V News magazine, which also features our recent Leaders’ Forum debate, sponsored by Baxi, discussing further issues about the need to use genuine parts.