With new EU energy-efficiency regulations coming into force covering the production, testing and labelling of heating appliances, OFTEC is urging installers to prepare for the changes or risk legal action.
The Energy-related Products (ErP) Directive aims to improve the energy efficiency of domestic and commercial heating systems, reduce emissions and help end users make smarter buying choices.
The first tier of changes will be implemented from 26 September.
The regulations cover two main areas: performance standards, which place responsibility on manufacturers; and labelling, which involves the entire supply chain, including installers.
To comply with the Directive, manufacturers will need to meet minimum energy performance standards, nitrogen oxide and noise emissions on all products covered by the regulations in order to bear a CE mark and be available for sale.
Products will also need to carry a specific label to identify the energy efficiency band (from A++ to G) for heating and, where relevant, a similar banding scheme for hot water production - very similar to labels currently seen on white goods.
Where various products are assembled together to form a heating installation, it will be the responsibility of the installer at the point of sale to calculate the overall energy efficiency of the system and produce a label for the customer.
Enforcement of the Directive will be carried out by The National Measurement Office through product testing and market surveillance.
Any installer or manufacturer seen to be non-compliant could face legal action and, at worst, criminal prosecution.
OFTEC technical director Paul Rose said: “We fully endorse the new legislation that offers a good step forward in improving the energy efficiency of heating-related products.
“However, the ErP Directive is a complex set of regulations that places the responsibility on technicians to correctly calculate the energy efficiency of the heating systems they install using supporting information from manufactures known as a ‘product fiche’.
“As part of our support package for technicians, we are currently looking at ways to help registered technicians complete this process.”