The introduction of EU-led energy regulations on refrigeration equipment won’t just go out of the window because Britain is negotiating its exit from the European Union, industry experts have said.
The fact that Britain is poised to leave the EU within the next 18 months means that, in theory at least, minimum energy performance standards and the subsequent energy labelling process, will no longer be legally binding, apart from in instances where manufacturers are exporting to Europe.
But those that have been involved in shaping the legislation are unanimous in declaring that the panic button does not need to be pressed.
“Europe will still be the UK’s biggest market, so manufacturers will continue to need to build to EU specifications,” said Keith Warren, director of CESA. “Effectively Brexit will have little impact in this specific area. The UK will still have a say in setting the energy labelling standards through the established standards-making processes. What will change is the UK’s ability to shape or influence the big policy decisions and the respective implementing measures.”
However, notes Warren, as CESA is part of the European Federation of Catering Equipment Manufacturers (EFCEM), it will still have significant influence.“Meanwhile there are no signs that the UK government wants to deviate from the established regulations — nor that there is any benefit in doing so,” he points out.
Nick Williams, managing director of Precision Refrigeration, says that even though it will need to comply with the regulation to sell its products into the EU market, there is a practicality in applying the same standards parameters to the UK.
“It is good that we have a regulation acting as a level playing field for customers to reliably compare products. It certainly wouldn’t make sense to reinvent the wheel and start over with a new UK version of the legislation,” he argues.
Indeed, with manufacturers having invested so much time and money into the testing and labelling process in order to provide clarity for the consumer, few see any sense in the regulations being ripped up or replaced.
“The labelling requirement will remain in force in continental Europe and may be adopted by other regions or countries and as such it will remain very relevant to our business,” declares Karl Hodgson, sales director at Adande. “The situation for the UK is unclear at this point but based on examples such as Norway, and the amount of work required to establish different standards specifically for the UK, we expect the current legislation on labelling will be maintained. Time will tell.”