Lot 20: Are you ready?

As part of the EU’s 2012 Energy Efficiency Directive, we’ve started to see more products manufactured with energy efficiency in mind. Televisions, light bulbs and washing machines are just a small sample of products already altered, in regard to design, to meet the EU’s 20 per cent energy saving target by 2020.

In this Q&A, John-Paul Bailey, Category Manager at Rexel, explains how EU regulations are set to affect space heaters, and what electrical contractors need to know to stay ahead.

What is Lot 20?

The next phase of this directive Lot 20, (or EU 2015/1188 as it is officially referred to) comes into effect from January 1st 2018. The latest addition will see all local space heaters, which use electricity, become the next product range required by law to comply with a minimum efficiency standard, removing inefficient technologies, while simultaneously reducing their carbon footprint.

Lot 20 will affect heaters of all kinds, manufactured after 1st January 2018, including storage heaters and electric radiators right through to fan and convector heaters. When you consider that over half the energy used domestically heats water and space, Lot 20 is a major contributing factor in ensuring future energy efficiency targets are met.

 How will I know if products are compliant?

Lot 20 requires that the consumption and emissions for local space heaters must be reduced by applying “existing, non-proprietary technologies”. In addition, these changes must also be made without an increase in the combined costs of purchasing and operating the product. Compliant products will increase the efficiency of local space heaters by regulating their operation through the use of intelligent timers and controls.

Put simply, electric space heaters will become more energy efficient by the use of smart technologies and controls, with the additional costs of the products being off-set by the reduced energy costs of running the heater over its lifetime.

When will Lot 20 come into effect?

Lot 20 is applicable to all products manufactured after 1st January 2018. Non-compliant products already in stock after this date can still be sold and installed, but many manufacturers are already beginning to phase out these older models. Ultimately it is the responsibility of the manufacturer to supply compliant products. However, it is important that electrical contractors begin to familiarise themselves with the changes and what it may mean for them.

What are the potential commercial benefits to contractors?

Added value for contractors will come from their ability to offer a more comprehensive range of solutions to customers, incorporating smart technologies and controls which are increasingly being sought by consumers. The added value of products will also increase the value of the basket of products sold, which enables contractors to leverage a number of upselling opportunities. By understanding why Lot 20 is being implemented and how it will result in cost savings to consumers in the form of reduced energy bills, Lot 20 will provide a win : win for both consumer and contractor.