The European Union has shaken up the heating industry this year by introducing EcoDesign Lot 20, a directive that will seek to combat heat wastage throughout the continent to help meet the EU’s 2020 energy efficiency objective.

Read on to learn more about how manufacturers will need to adapt to these new rules, which will specifically affect companies that produce space heaters.

The demand for smart products

In recent years, there has been heightened consumer demand for heaters with ‘intelligent’ controls. This is partly to do with the rise in prominence of smart meters and other home technologies, and partly because such controls are known to keep energy costs down by giving the user more flexibility as to when they use their heaters, and how long they use them for. Customers now understand that investing in the latest technology will enable them to reap the benefits of a heating system that’s both more efficient and cheaper to run.

What is EcoDesign Lot 20?

Here’s a handy summary of the latest legislation, as provided by the EU itself:

“All local space heaters manufactured for sale in the EU after 1st January 2018 which use electricity, gaseous or liquid fuels, must comply with a minimum efficiency standard. This includes electric radiators, electric underfloor heating and electric and gas fires.”

EcoDesign Lot 20 demands that, as of next year, all heaters (as defined within the directive) will need to include pre-installed intelligent controls that can reduce their energy output. The responsibility therefore falls to heater manufacturers and re-sellers to ensure that their products are fit for sale once the legislation comes into force.

Explaining intelligent controls

Firstly, an intelligent heating system will contain a timer control. This allows the user to turn their heating appliance on and off as they please, according to the changing temperature of the room. The timer can be controlled via an internal programmer or, in many cases, via an app on a smartphone or other digital device via WiFi, so the customer can even adjust their settings when they are away from home.

The thermostatic control works to monitor the room temperature with the support of an electronic thermostat. This then works in tandem with the smart delayed start control function, which adjusts the heading schedule according to the temperature. All three components of an intelligent control system work together to conserve energy and prevent wastage.

Will Brexit prevent this law from coming into play?

The short answer is, no. Although the UK is planning to exit the EU in a couple of years’ time, the country has already signed up for this directive.

What does this mean for our customers?

EcoDesign Lot 20 has understandably sent shockwaves through the manufacturing industry, and has forced many companies to re-design their products in order to meet new standards. But, happily, the directive DOES NOT affect electric towel rails or electric tubular heaters – so the team here at Thermo Products will not need to make any adjustments to our range. Customers can continue to enjoy the same low-energy, high output heaters that have kept our company at the forefront of the heating industry since the turn of the 19th century.electric tubular heaters