The UK government’s department for business, energy and industrial strategy is appealing for feedback on its proposed updates to ecodesign and introducing energy labelling requirements for commercial refrigeration.
The consultation covers the ecodesign and energy labelling proposals themselves, the department’s assessment of the costs and benefits of these regulations, as set out in the consultation-stage impact assessments, and the intended timetables for reviewing the draft regulations after they come into force.
Aping the EU ecodesign model, the UK version aims to phase out the least efficient energy-related products from the market through minimum energy performance requirements, whilst energy labelling aims to drive the uptake of the most energy efficient products on the market by providing users with information on the energy performance of the products they are buying.
When it was an EU member state, the UK took a leading role in pushing for both ambitious and realistic EU ecodesign and energy labelling requirements. In winter 2018/19, the UK voted in favour of new requirements for certain energy-related products. Some of these requirements take effect before the end of the Brexit transition period and so will be saved in UK law from 1 January 2021, whereas those due to come into force in 2021 require the government to introduce specific legislation to ensure that Great Britain and Northern Ireland realises the associated benefits.
Therefore from 1 January 2021, the UK will gain powers to enable it to set its own ecodesign and energy labelling requirements (subject to the terms of the Northern Ireland Protocol).
The draft Ecodesign for Energy-Related Products Regulations 2021 regulations set minimum energy efficiency requirements related to energy use, and introduce requirements related to resource efficiency such as reparability and recyclability. Adopting these requirements for commercial refrigeration would lead to estimated carbon savings of around 0.4m tonnes of CO2e and 3,975GWh of electrical energy saved over the appraisal period (2021/22 to 2050/51) in the UK. Annual energy savings could amount to around 100GWh by the end of the appraisal period.
Those who would like to review and respond to the draft regulations have been invited to inform the department for business, energy and industrial strategy using its online platform by 11:45pm on 11 November 2020.