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Electric heater manufacturers vs European Commission

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Staff writer ▼ | September 25, 2013
The European Commission has succumbed to heavy lobbying from the electric heating industry and is set to approve an energy labeling scheme that misrepresents its appliances' true efficiency performance.
Electric heaters
Electric heatersThe European Commission has succumbed to heavy lobbying from the electric heating industry and is set to approve an energy labeling scheme that misrepresents its appliances' true efficiency performance.


Around 20 million gas and electric heaters are sold in Europe each year and from 2016, the Commission wanted them to display colour-coded energy performance labels, which have bars ranging from a green A to a red G class However, electric heater manufacturers, which make up over 80% of the market, fought against any direct comparison with gas and other heaters, most of which are more than twice as efficient.

The European Environmental Bureau, a green pressure group, says that the "Commission buckled under pressure" and changed the Ecodesign Directive proposal, to exempt electric heaters from labeling altogether. Instead, national experts from EU states are due to vote on a proposal in October for an alternative sticker warning consumers that electric heaters are equivalent to a G-class energy label. The vote had been due on September 24 but was postponed at the last minute.

Electric heaters can consume up to 180 terawatt hours of electricity per year across the 28 EU countries, over a fifth of EU household electricity consumption, reports EurActiv. As a result, they can also put national electricity grids under real stress by powering sudden spikes in demand.


 

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