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Worcester worries over Euro changes

Concerns have been raised about the most recent draft of the European Commission’s Energy Using Products (EuP) directive for heating and hot water equipment by one of the UK’s leading manufacturers.

Martyn Bridges, director of marketing and technical support, at Worcester believes the UK heating industry has been left with virtually no time to absorb the full impact of the proposals and to respond to the European Commission.

The latest draft proposals were only received last Thursday (June 4) with the summit meeting due to start in Brussels on June 24.

Mr Bridges said a particular concern is the seasonal energy-efficiency requirements, which require a minimum system efficiency label figure of 75 per cent by 2013. 

He argues this will force manufacturers to provide, within the dispatched boiler “package”, a time and temperature control device or face potential penalties on the claimed system efficiency.

He said:  “The EU is trying to implement a system efficiency methodology which is very different to the current UK market situation where we use a SEDBUK label to indicate the boiler efficiency. 

“We are not against this in principle, however dispatching the boiler with a control system, which provides either load or weather compensation, without knowing the customer type it is going to, will potentially lead to systems working less efficiently than if they are fitted with a more basic control system, such as mechanical timer and room thermostat.

“We are aware of customers in specific demographics, for example the elderly and ethnic groups, where perhaps English is not their first language, who have boilers equipped with sophisticated time and temperature controllers, but choose to operate them by either turning it on or off at the electrical supply or turning the TRVs down to turn off the radiators.” 

He continued:  “In effect, the Directive is likely to mean higher investment costs and the likelihood that consumers will consider repair rather than replacement of old inefficient boilers.  Ultimately, this has the short term potential to make it more likely that CO2 emissions reduction targets will be missed.”