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EPEE calls for effective policing of new ecodesign regulations

EPEE, the European Partnership for Energy and the Environment, has welcomed the European Commission's publication of the ecodesign requirements for air conditioners and comfort fans but has called for effective policing of non-compliance and urged the Commission to swiftly conclude and adopt other ecodesign rules for critical products, such as boilers and water heaters.
The regulation establishes eco-design requirements for the placing on the market of electric mains-operated air conditioners with a rated capacity of ≤ 12 kW for cooling, or heating if the product has no cooling function, and comfort fans with an electric fan power input ≤ 125W.

From January 1 2013 room air conditioners must achieve a minimum SEER of 3.6. This drops to 3.24 if an air conditioner is using a refrigerant with a GWP of less than 150. The SCOP requirement will be 3.4 and 3.06 respectively

From January 1 2014, the minimum SEER rises to 4.6 for units under 6kW and 4.3 for units of 6-12kW. Corresponding figures for SCOP are 3.8 for all sizes. For any air conditioner using a refrigerant with a GWP of less than 150, this drops to 4.14 and 3.87 respectively, with SCOPs being 3.42 for all sizes.

While recognising that the new measures, which could potentially save 46 TWh per year in the EU, EPEE's director general Andrea Voigt said: 'Ecodesign requirements can only be fully beneficial in terms of energy savings and for EU citizens, if there is proper and efficient market surveillance. Non-compliance comes at the expense of consumers, who purchase equipment that turns out to be more costly to operate than expected, undermines the EU's and national governments' goals of climate change and energy efficiency, and is unfair for companies who make the effort to comply.'

Since 2005, when the Ecodesign Directive on Energy-using products was agreed upon, the European Commission adopted 17 implementing measures (12 ecodesign + 5 energy labelling) representing in total an estimated energy savings of 380 TWh, which is the equivalent of electricity generated by around 20 nuclear power plants in one year.

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