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Industry pressure forces watering down of EUP Directive

The EuP Directive, the European Commission's controversial proposals designed to force heating manufacturers to design more energy efficient products has been scheduled to go live by the end of the year.
However, extensive lobbying by the UK's heating industry, led by the Heating and Hot Water Industry Council (HHIC) and OFTEC has forced the European Commission to water down its initial proposals.
Crucially, it appears that the requirement that all boilers would have to be boxed and dispatched with the necessary control systems, such as time-clocks, room thermostats and TRVs has been dropped, as has the requirement that NOx emissions for oil-fired boilers do not exceed 35 milligrams per kWh. The limit for oil-fired boilers is likely to be 120mg per kWh and gas-fired boilers 35 mg per kWh.
Other requirements or aspirations of the scheme was that heating products like boilers and water heaters must carry consistent labeling across the European Union to enable customers to make a comparison between technologies. Initially, condensing boilers were to be given the label or Band B, which we felt in the UK would be confusing as for some years we have educated customers into thinking condensing boilers of the highest efficiency were Band A. It is pleasing to see that it is likely that this will change and condensing boilers will be labeled Band A with other technologies which are more efficient or renewable technologies getting Band A+ or Band A++.
Martyn Bridges, director of marketing and technical support at Worcester, Bosch Group, commented: 'I am pleased to say that there has been a realisation within the Commission that initial drafts of EUP Directive were not workable, particularly for the UK heating industry. The requirement for controls to be dispatched with the boiler was impractical due to wide variations in the size of houses and the ability of different individuals to use and programme more complex control devices. In addition, the NOx emissions requirements would probably have been practically impossible to meet.'
The timetable for implementation starts with a new working document due in January 2011 followed further consultations with representatives of member states (DEFRA in the UK). It is expected that the Directive will go to a vote on the Regulatory Committee by the summer of 2011 with publication of the Directive in the autumn. Targets relating to efficiency and NOx are likely to be introduced two to four years after publication.
Mr Bridges continued: 'We now have a much more practical set of proposals which can be implemented within the UK market, but still set a demanding target for UK heating manufacturers.'
7 January 2011


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