The European commission has always been committed to reducing carbon emissions and protecting the environment. This is made clear with the introduction of the ERP (Energy Related Products) directive, which was introduced in October 2015.

In order to comply with the directive, all heating appliances need to be clearly labelled with the energy efficiency, brand and power usage of the product. This directive is to affect all members of the European Union. But some electrical and plumbing installers have aired their frustration and many don’t know how this affects them. In order to help, we've put together a list of the top questions. In truth, this directive isn’t hard to implement, but hopefully the following post should help put your mind at ease.

What does energy labelling mean?

Energy labelling is required by manufacturers of energy related products. They are now required to place energy labels on their household goods which demonstrate their energy efficiency and how they meet energy efficiency standards. These products include washing machines, refrigerators and cooking appliances. The labelling requirements are stated under the directive and range from A to G depending on their efficiency.

The thing you need to know as an electrical or plumbing contractor is that hot water storage devices with a potential of 500 litres require a tag. The majority of home devices such as washing machines, televisions and fridges of up to 70kw are also integrated.

Meaning and significance of a fiche.

A fiche is an important part of the process. It’s generally a technological datasheet that shows key details about the product and its efficiency. A fiche helps installers calculate the overall percentage efficiency of the product. It also helps in obtaining the band for the system with bands running from A to G. With G being the lowest rating and A+++ the highest.

Where can the fiche be found?

The fiche is usually supplied with the product and contains all the necessary information such as the products efficiency and its sound levels.

What if a single boiler is being installed?

When installing a boiler, the label should be clear and visible. It is supplied by the manufacturer and doesn't need to be created by the plumbing or electrical installer. However, as an installer you should ensure the label can be seen and be able to explain the meanings of the ratings to the consumer.

Can a system containing multiple products be labelled?

The answer is yes. These kinds of systems require a "package label" that summarizes the efficiency of the whole system in the form of a percentage. The efficiency of the whole system can be calculated using the figures given on the product fiche. In order to help installers, different manufacturers have launched online programmes and tools that allow them to input the figures and create the package label easily.

How do I complete a package label?

The information required in the "package label" can usually be found in the installation manual. The manual should provide efficiency percentages; which will be combined to obtain an efficiency level for the system.

Remember to give the customer the form for record purposes.

Is a contractor responsible for producing a label for a multi product system?

The simple answer is yes. If you are the one who put the system together then it’s your duty to provide the customer with the system label. In an easy to understand way. For instance, if the manufacturer provides the complete package under one number then they are responsible, if the items have been bought individually then it’s the installer’s duty and if the seller, sells directly to the final consumer then the merchants is responsible to provide the label.

What should be done when installing controls?

There is nothing much to be done as an installer here. The directive only applies to products that are newly installed. So, if you a contractor installing controls for a product such as a boiler which either already has labelling (or is old and pre-ERP directive) then there is nothing else to be done.

If you are installing a new heat source with new controls then a product fiche would need to be filled out and a system label generated. The directive though has defined the many control options by using a system of classes. These classes run from 1 to 8. The controllers include a simple thermostat all the way to a multi sensor room control.

How long does the whole process take?

The whole process should only take ten minutes to complete.

How will one benefit from the ERP directive?

The ERP directive is really designed to help consumers understand how energy-efficient their different appliances are and when it is worth investing in new technology. As a contractor, understanding the labelling should help provide clarity to your customers.

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