The Solar Trade Association is the UK’s representative for the LabelPack A+ project. The EU-wide project, launched just over a year and a half ago, extends the established labelling scheme for electrical appliances, such as washing machines and fridges, to space and water heating technologies.
The efficiency label category ranks heaters from G, the lowest category, to A+++, the most efficient solution. However, only heating systems that include renewable energy sources are awarded the label category of A+ or higher.
However, initial results from the project show that more action is needed by manufacturers and installers of heating kit to label their technologies so that consumers can make informed choices.
Pedro Dias, secretary general, European Solar Thermal Industry Federation (ESTIF) commented: “We have developed tools and materials to facilitate the implementation of the package label on the energy efficiency of space and water heaters. A year on, it is evident that most consumers in Europe still lack information about the labelling for heating systems. Furthermore, a large number of installers still need to be trained about the use of the package label.”
The regulation introduced the ‘package label’, which covers the different components of a heating system. This means consumers can consider ‘packages’ of technologies when investing in a new heating system, based on combined performance. This innovative approach empowers consumers to compare the performance of different heating systems, and highlights the advantage of opting for systems that include solar thermal collectors.
Isabella O’Dowd, who leads on the Package Label at the Solar Trade Association, commented: “The package label is a great way to promote the benefits of solar thermal. It can be easily understood by consumers to help them make informed decisions when comparing heating options. The solar thermal industry will greatly benefit from better take-up of the labelling scheme, as it clearly demonstrates the superior energy saving benefits to consumers if solar thermal is included in their heating systems.”