Seasonal efficiency explained. Mitsubishi Electric

This Mitsubishi Electric guide gives an overview of the Ecodesign Directive for Energy Related Products (ErP). The guide details how building services products are affected by ErP in terms of manufacturing, testing and market impact.

Ecodesign Directive for Energy Related Products

The Ecodesign Directive for Energy Related Products (ErP) is European legislation designed to improve the energy efficiency of all products which “generate, transfer or measure energy” – whether that is electricity, gas or other fossil fuel. The legislation was first introduced in 2009 and is very broad scope, covering consumer electricals such as fridges, washing machines and televisions, and commercial products such as boilers, heat pumps and air conditioning systems. The Ecodesign Directive deals with all aspects of product performance, from manufacture, to transportation to market, use and disposal. When considering how to reduce the impact of a product, the EU considers those stages of a product’s lifecycle that have the most impact on the environment.


How efficient is a product?
HVAC products will vary performance over the changing seasons and application conditions. Peak heating or cooling
output is required for less than 10% of the year. Therefore it is widely accepted that seasonal energy efficiency is the
most appropriate efficiency figure to use when assessing how a heating or cooling system will perform when installed
in a building. The seasonal efficiency numbers, SEER (Season Energy Efficiency Ratio) for cooling and SCOP
(Seasonal Coefficient of Performance) for heating are used for building energy models, run cost calculations and
crucially the MEPS for a particular ErP lot.


Why ErP and energy labelling matter today

The standards set by the ErP have already had a significant impact on the products that are available to specifiers. Products such as chillers which can be a large proportion of energy consumption in buildings have undergone major developments by manufacturers so that they have been optimised for good energy performance. The energy labelling of products and technical product fiches mean that comparing and specifying for energy efficiency has never been easier; particularly as all products must be assessed using the same methodology. This is especially important for existing commercial buildings, as from 1st April 2018 the new Minimum Energy
Efficiency Standards for buildings come into force. It will be illegal to let a building which has an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating below E. Estimates are that around 20% of the UK’s commercial building stock falls into the F and G EPC categories – making those buildings valueless in terms of potential rental income.


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