EU proposals would ‘harm equipment industry’

CESA has reiterated concerns that EU proposals to reduce energy consumption on commercial catering equipment could come at a massive cost for refrigeration manufacturers.

Under draft proposals for creating minimum energy performance standards around refrigerated cabinets, blast chillers and walk-in cold rooms, refrigeration companies would be required to take independent testing to verify their models.

Such a move, insists CESA, could be hugely expensive for some brands and potentially limit future investments in product development.

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Keith Warren, director of CESA, said manufacturers’ ability to customise models is an essential requirement in the foodservice sector due to the varying demands of operators and their site requirements and pointed out that some refrigeration companies offer literally hundreds of variants.

“The outcome of the work on commercial refrigeration could place significant development and testing costs on companies, as well as a major administrative burden on technical and testing staff,” he warned.

“If they are applied to every model variant, then there is a danger that they will discourage companies from developing the new technologies that are essential if we are to meet sustainability and environmental commitments.”

As reported in the latest issue of Catering Insight, CESA is chair of the technical committee of the European Federation of Catering Equipment Manufacturers (EFCEM), which recently submitted a 1,900-word document to Brussels outlining its reaction to the draft proposals.

“We underlined the need to ensure that legislation and regulations encourage rather than discourage manufacturers to develop energy saving equipment,” said Warrens. “The proposals as they stand could dramatically affect the foodservice industry’s ability to cut energy consumption. They are non-sustainable.”

The proposals set out by the EU are in the form of an Implementing Measure under the Eco Design Directive.

While the spotlight is currently on refrigeration equipment, similar discussions will begin in the next few months in relation to ovens, hobs and grills.

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