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Buildings make up over 30% of the EU's energy end-use and greenhouse gas emissions. Most go to hydronic space heaters and dedicated water heaters, regulated by mandatory Ecodesign and Energy Label acts since 2013, and these legal acts are up for a review. After completing the review studies for space- and waterheaters, VHK is now lending technical assistance to the European Commission DG ENER in bringing about –in consultation with stakeholders– legislation appropriate for the ambitious EU's climate- and energy goals, aiming at a sustainable, carbon-neutral European Union in 2050.
Study website: ecoboiler-review.eu
The Swiss government is generally incorporating most of the EU Ecodesign and Energy Label Regulations into national law. As part of a consortium led by BSS consultants in Basel, VHK is using its EU expertise and data accounting in assessing the environmental, energy and economic impact of these measures for the Federal Office for the Environment of Switzerland.
For many perishable food products the road "from Farm to Fork" involves refrigeration for optimal quality and fighting food waste. Starting from chillers in warehouses and food industry, storage in shops and restaurants and finally household refrigerators and freezers. Following up from assisting with household refrigeration regulations published in 2019, VHK is now assisting the European Commission DG GROW to review Ecodesign and Energy Label regulations for professional refrigeration equipment in consultation with Member State experts and other interest parties.
Study website: ecoprorefrigeration.eu
Mechanical ventilation units take care of the indoor air quality (IAQ) in residential dwellings and commercial buildings. Compared to simple window airing they can save large amounts of energy and, if done properly, create a much healthier indoor climate. VHK has assisted the EU Commission DG ENER in preparing Ecodesign rules that entered into force in 2013 and is now completing a two and a half year reviewing-effort with groundbreaking new metrics.
Study website: ecoventilation-review.eu
Preparatory studies and impact assessment studies for Ecodesign and Energy Labelling contain detailled, high-quality data on 41 regulated products, subdivided in over 237 subgroups. The data regard sales, installed stock, energy efficiency, electricity and fossil fuel use, greenhouse gas emissions, acquisition, installation, energy and maintenance costs, consumer expenditure in total, revenues of industry, trade and retail, employment, etc.. Apart from having been the lead consultant in many of these studies, VHK has developed the harmonised calculation method for this large and powerful database that transparently shows the achievements of the Commission in this policy field.
Read more on our work for Ecodesign Impact Accounting.
Close to forty Commission (Delegated) Regulations on Ecodesign or Energy Label require hundreds of test and calculation methods created for reliable assessments of performance, energy efficiency and emissions. The Regulations describe the outlines and 'essential requirements'. Subsequently, the European Commission issues a standardisation request to the European Standardisation Organisations (ESOs) CEN and Cenelec, which –once accepted– becomes a 'Mandate' to develop detailled EN-standards. This is a process of several years. The task of VHK is to monitor the work of the ESO Working Groups, assist them and the Commission's DG GROW to ensure that the standards meet the requirements and can thus be accepted ('harmonised'). For this work, VHK does not work alone, but works with and co-ordinates the foremost technical experts in the various technical fields. Harmonised standards are published in the Official Journal of the EU.