European Energy Performance Standards to Transform Product Costs

Paul Taylor
The UK government is committed to seeking cost-effective ways to achieve emissions reduction targets in support of Climate Change policy.

New European product legislation (PDF) will allow the built environment industries to benefit from operational efficiencies and cost savings. Manufacturers, suppliers and importers of energy-using products (EuPs) and energy-related products now have to take account of environmental aspects in the design.

Faithful+Gould works with a wide range of international organisations to develop minimum energy performance standards that impact on products used in buildings and infrastructure. We're focusing particularly on motors, fans and pumps.

Often forgotten, products driven by the humble motor quietly use 45% of electricity consumed globally. Having the knowledge to select the best products, and use them effectively, is a very cost effective way to reduce operating costs and carbon emissions. This also contributes to reducing your CRC bill. Lifecycle costing is key for making an informed purchasing decision, and with the information now available it is set to become easier.

Currently  there is no way of understanding whether a pump is one of the best. It's even hard to know with any certainty what efficiency level you should be aiming for. The new information, coming from a study led by Faithful+Gould, is set to transform the way pumps are specified, shifting the balance of power to the user.

The great thing about this approach is that just by working with a small group of manufacturers, changes can be made that impact all equipment buyers. With proper compliance checking regimes in place, there can be no escaping regulations. The worst performers will be removed from the market, so that inefficient electricity-guzzling products will simply no longer be available.

The benefits to the environment are huge. For example, we advised on circulator pump regulations that will lead to a carbon saving equivalent to the emissions of four conventional fossil fuel power stations. New performance metrics will make it easy for specifiers to identify the very best performing products for their applications. This will encourage further innovation and bring even better products to the market.

Implementing measures covered by the European Ecodesign Directive will help manufacturers and suppliers to achieve minimum energy efficiency standards for products in their in-use phase. A number of product groups are now covered by regulations, with others to follow shortly Evidence studies for product groups such as light bulbs and boilers have also been completed.

Faithful+Gould's carbon management group is advising on regulations for fans and motors, not just in the UK and for the EC, but for other governments including Australia and China. We are also part of the consultation process for numerous international NGOs. At policy level we're aiming to make it easy to specify energy efficient equipment, so that capital and operating costs of equipment can become equally transparent.