Refrigeration brands called into action

Manufacturers are being invited to share any data they have gleaned from measuring the energy efficiency of their products ahead of an EU-wide move to introduce a minimum performance standards policy on refrigeration equipment.

The European Commission has now published its first set of draft standards under the framework of the Ecodesign Directive, which will make it mandatory for commercial refrigeration products to meet certain energy efficiency standards when sold in the EU.

Industry bodies including The European Federation of Catering Equipment Manufacturers (EFCEM) — which is represented in the UK by CESA — were in Brussels last month to attend a consultation forum where the draft standards were unveiled and debated.

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CESA chief, Keith Warren, told Catering Insight that the EC was keen to receive performance criteria from manufacturers in order to view it against the published draft standards.

“All manufacturers need to be aware of the fast developing refrigeration legislation that is under development in Brussels,” said Warren. “Commercial refrigeration, blast chillers and walk-in cold rooms all fall under the Ecodesign Directive to become part of an implementing measure that will impose minimum performance criteria on products placed on the market.”

As part of the consultation, Warren said EFCEM would be writing to the EC later this month with its feedback. It plans to present the case that:

– The effective functioning of equipment must not be compromised by energy performance requirements.

– Testing requirements and associated costs must be proportionate to the industry given the product diversity and relatively low production volumes.

– Changes in refrigerants over time could result in extensive testing costs.

– The proposed performance standards should reflect the whole range of appliances on the market and not just those that comply with EN441. Failure to do so could exclude up to 75% of existing products.

Warren said manufacturers could pass any information relating to performance criteria to him by emailing: keith.warren@cesa.org.uk

“A full position paper will be forwarded to the Commission by 10th February 2012,” he added. “CESA members will be kept up to date with developments as they happen.”

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