Space- and water heaters of the future
Central heating boilers and water heaters consume about half of the primary energy in European homes and commercial buildings, also having a major impact on greenhouse gas emissions. Efficient alternatives like heat pumps exist, but struggle to penetrate the market. Ecodesign and energy labelling are major policy instruments to eliminate the worst and promote the best. VHK research engineers assist the Commission to optimise these instruments technically and economically to help meet the EU energy and climate goals.
Study website: ecoboiler-review.eu
Keeping books for the Swiss
Switzerland, famous for its banking and accounting, is home to the latest client of VHK in environmental impact assessment. As part of a consortium led by BSS consultants, VHK is using its expertise and environmental accounting in the impact assessment of the latest ecodesign and energy labelling measures for the Swiss government as part of incorporating these EU measures into national law and possibly improving on it.
Preventing food- and energy waste through sensible refrigeration
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
Healthy and efficient
Energy efficiency policy is not about just saving energy, but it is about the best balance between performance and energy input. Our work on policy measures for ventilation is a case in point. Mechanical ventilation units take care of the indoor air quality (IAQ). 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 ground-breaking new metrics. Reports
Study website: ecoventilation-review.eu
Accountability is paramount
Preparatory studies and impact assessment studies for Ecodesign and Energy Labelling contain detailed, high-quality data on the current 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.. VHK has developed and is maintaining the harmonised calculation method and data for this large and powerful database that annually shows the achievements of the Commission in this policy field. Reports
Read more on our work for Ecodesign Impact Accounting.
Industry standards are one of the pillars of ecodesign and energy labelling legislation. Hundreds of test standards are needed, created by the CEN, Cenelec and other standardisation organisations at the request of the European Commission. Every test standard is created in a precision process of several years, during which experts of the working groups conceive but also conduct verification tests to ensure that tests are robust enough for the legislative process.
The task of VHK is to monitor the work of the working groups, assist them and the Commission to ensure that at the end of each development process the standards meet the requirements and can thus be accepted ('harmonised') within the EU legal framework. Apart from monitoring own areas of expertise, VHK also works also with and co-ordinates the foremost technical experts in the various technical fields.
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