Review of Ecodesign and Energy Labelling requirements can offer cool energy savings

The Commission launched a technical study to review the Ecodesign and Energy Labelling measures on air conditioners(ACs) and comfort fans in February 2017. At the first stakeholder meeting on 5 July, the study team presented their initial findings.

These products can benefit from energy efficiency improvements, especially by increasing the minimum performance requirements in cooling mode in the EU. A review of the Energy Label seems necessary in any case; back in 2014, only one year after the entry into force of the new Label for ACs, Topten.eu remarked that the top-class A+++ of room air conditioners was exceeded by around 20%.

This is a product group which can deliver energy savings in the near future. Despite the flat market shares air conditioners have experienced over the last years, the study underlines that there is a strong potential for the market growth of these products. Total sales were about 4.2 million units in 2015, 40% less than in 2007 (mainly linked to the financial crisis). The study however expects this to increase to over 10 million units by 2030 and up to 20 million by 2050.

Since 2012, the EU sales and trading of comfort fans have increased by an average of 5% per year, prompting the study team to urge industry to provide updated sales figures to better assess the eventual need to review the Ecodesign requirements for these products.

Coolproducts believes that this review of the regulation is a golden opportunity to ensure that any product with a heating and/or cooling function is covered by Ecodesign requirements. Regarding test standards, ECOS also supports the ongoing development of a compensation method as it could ultimately lead to seasonal figures closer to real life performances.

The revision of the measures should also finally ensure the comparability of products for consumers. As it stands, the label scale is different for double duct and single duct appliances on the one hand, and for the rest of the A/C products on the other.

The study is expected to run until mid-2018. The Commission expects to submit the proposal for new Ecodesign & Energy Labelling rules to the Consultation Forum by late 2018/early 2019.