What a ‘LOT’ of people don’t know – new heater energy compliance from 1st January 2018!

New Year conjures up images of champagne, party poppers and Auld Lang Syne, however this year, at the chime of midnight – electric heating might also need to be added to the list!  This is because of an EU directive that comes into force on Monday 1st January 2018 that bans the production of electric heating that does not meet minimum energy efficiency requirements. So here is an explanation of what the new directive is about and how it will affect you:

What is the directive?

The European Ecodesign Directive (2009/125/EC) was created to ensure that energy-using products (from electronic phone charging docks through to standard gas boilers) are as efficient and environmentally friendly as possible. Due to the many appliances and utilities covered by the directive, they have been split into different groups, called ‘lots’. Lot 20 is the one that refers to local space heaters and includes products such as storage heaters, electric radiators, gas fireplaces and underfloor heating.

 What does it mean in practice?

Heaters with basic dial controls and inaccurate mechanical thermostats can be inefficient and environmentally unfriendly. With the introduction of Lot 20 all manufacturers of local space heaters will have to incorporate technologies that promote energy efficiency if they want to continue to produce the products after 1st January.

A simplified formula that allocates percentages to key benefits will be used to rate how effective heaters are. Electric heaters for example all begin with a base rating of 30%, yet must achieve a 38% efficiency rating (if they have a nominal heat output above 250W) to continue being produced in the EU.  Here are the ways that the heaters can bridge the 8% gap:

  • +7% for an electronic room temperature control plus week timer
  • +5% for an electronic room temperature control plus day timer
  • +3% for electronic room temperature control
  • +1% mechanical thermostat room temperature control
  • +1% for room temperature control with open window detection
  • +1% with distance control option
  • +1% with adaptive start control (eg. Wi-Fi compatibility)

How will it affect you?

The new rules place the cost of improving the efficiency of products solely with the manufacturer, explicitly stating that any eco-design improvements “should not affect the functionality or affordability of local space heaters from the end-user’s perspective.”

The Haverland range of heaters will remain largely unchanged, as environmental efficiency has been built into the company’s ranges from day one.

Following 1st January, non-compliant heaters will still be sold if they are in stock, but not produced by manufacturers. This will mean that there will be a crossover period when non-compliant local space heaters can still be purchased. It is worth noting that heaters manufactured before the 1st January deadline will still be available on the market for a period of time as they respect the same safety requirements as LOT 20 approved versions and the Authorities have determined they can legally be sold.

In case of doubt, stick with a manufacturer you can trust and ask for advice to your local wholesaler.

For consumers wanting to avoid purchasing non-compliant heaters however, a little research will be needed beforehand and the list of percentages detailed above will give an idea of the key things to look for.

The implementation of the directive can only be good news for consumers, as it will push manufacturers to do what Haverland has been doing for years – manufacturing higher quality, more efficient heaters with a greater range of controls.