ECO design and energy labelling come to effect in March 2021


ECO design regulation for refrigerating appliances with a direct sales function

The ECO design directive is designed for refrigerators with a direct sales function used for the sale and presentation of food and other goods in retail, eg. in supermarkets. The directive applies to newly produced refrigerated cabinets only – refrigeration systems, racks and condensing units are covered by other regulations. Appliances powered by energy sources other than electricity and food processing refrigerating appliances are not considered as refrigerators with a direct sales function. Neither are cold rooms included in this directive.

The regulations apply to the following refrigerating appliances (remote and plug-in installations) of own and third party (OEM) production:

  • supermarket refrigerated (freezer or refrigerator) cabinets
  • beverage coolers
  • ice-cream freezers
  • scoop ice-cream cabinets
  • refrigerated vending machines

The target of the ECO design directive is to guide manufacturers to start designing products with reduced energy consumption and that way also reduce the negative environmental impacts of these products all through their life-cycle.

'ECO design' means that there will be a greater focus on lifetime energy use and other environmental aspects during design phase before products are manufactured and brought to market.

ECO design Directive is complemented by the Energy Labelling Directive.

The Energy labelling directive

The Energy Labelling Directive requires an energy label to be attached to the product. The label helps an end users to select energy efficient products more easily. Energy labelling requirements will apply from March 1st, 2021 onwards on newly produced equipment. It provides clear and easy-to-understand information on the product energy efficiency, and classifies products according to their level of efficiency (from A to G). The label has to be attached to every product. The most energy efficient products are expected to be in the class C or D. 

ECO design and Energy Efficiency Index

Energy Efficiency Index (EEI) for every unit in Eprel database

Suppliers have to enter product information to Eprel database. Eprel is a European Product Database for Energy Labelling and it is maintained by the EU. The product information that suppliers entered in the Eprel database relates to the energy label, technical information and compliance monitoring.

Energy efficiency index (EEI) is defined in Climate Class 3 (+25°C ambient conditions with 60% relative humidity) for certain product temperature classes (M1, M2, H1 or H2). Key calculation parameters are energy consumption and Total Display Area (TDA). In practice this means that larger display area provides better EEI value. However, open cabinets will have higher EEI than door cabinets due to significantly higher electricity consumption.

It’s also good to remember that different cabinet types have own calculation formula and therefore they are not directly comparable (e.g. chilled multidecks vs. full glass door freezers).

Product life cycle and spare parts availability

Product life cycle is an important part of the ECO design directive. Manufacturers have to be ready to ship the needed spare parts within 15 days from the order date.

Information on spare parts and how to order them has to be available online for everyone without any access restrictions. Moreover, availability of the spare parts have to be guaranteed to 8 years after the last cabinet unit has been produced and delivered.

How to read the label

Energy labelling

Click to read our TopInfoTopInfo Ecodesign

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