Amendments to EuP Directive are welcomed by UK heating manufactures

14th Jan 2011

The EuP Directive, a controversial plan by the European Commission to make heating manufacturers design more energy efficient products, has been forced to relax its objectives after extensive lobbying from the UK heating industry.

The Directive, which should come into force by the end of the year, aimed to make it necessary for all new boilers to be boxed and dispatched with certain control systems, such as time-clocks, room thermostats and TRV’s. However, because of the efforts of the UK’s heating industry, namely the Heating and Hot Water Industry Council (HHIC) and OFTEC, the European Commission has been forced to water down its initial proposals.

If the latest draft is approved then the NOx emissions limit for oil-fired boilers is likely to be 120 mg per kWh and gas-fired boilers 35 mg per kWh. The Commission originally planned that NOx emissions for oil-fired boilers should not exceed 35 mg per kWh.

Another requirement of the scheme was that heating products like boilers and water heaters must carry consistent labeling across the European Union so that customers could compare technologies. Initially condensing boilers were to be given the label or Band B, but it was argued that this could lead to confusion as for some years now UK customers have been educated to associate condensing boilers of the highest efficiency with a Band A rating.

It is now likely that 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.”

A new working document is scheduled for later this month, followed by further consultations with representatives of member states. It is expected that the Directive will go to a vote on the Regulatory Committee in the summer 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.