Those in the commercial refrigeration industry have become familiar with the intricacies of EU law-making over the past few years as Brussels officials have taken on the task of developing minimum energy performance ratings.
But at times it has also created considerable confusion within the market due to the complexities involved in agreeing a test standard that takes into account all the variables associated with using different types of refrigeration.
With energy labelling set to become a requirement on commercial refrigeration appliances sold in the EU from July 2016, catering equipment buyers are beginning to ponder how the legislation will come to impact them.
Suppliers of branded refrigeration units ultimately believe the move is a good thing.
Glenn Roberts, managing director of Gram, insists the application of Minimum Energy Performance Standards won’t just be welcomed into the industry but will drag it “kicking and screaming” into the 21st century.
He also believes it will focus the minds of end-users on exactly what they are buying and the cost of its ownership. “It is going to put a burden of cost onto manufacturers who will have to radically re-design and alter their product ranges to conform to today’s modern market place. However, it is necessary to ensure that industry is providing fit-for-purpose, efficient products that provide excellent value for money for caterers,” he says.
Catarina Marques, research and development manager at Adande, suggests that the legislation could pose some challenges, however, due to potential misperception around the energy efficiency class (A-G) displayed in the label. This is because the energy efficiency index of the appliance is strongly dependent on the cabinet net volume.
“A smaller cabinet will consume considerably less energy than a larger cabinet; however this may not necessarily be reflected in the energy class,” she explains. “It is recommended that purchasers and end-users look at the appliance total energy consumption per year (also displayed on the label) when comparing cabinet performance.”