If you’ve bought large home electronics appliance or device over the last few years, you are sure to have noticed an energy rating sticker attached to the item or its packaging, and probably prominently featured on its advertisement or sales listing too. Whilst some people take great care to read and consider this information before buying, others often choose to disregard it. If you are one of the latter, your domestic appliances may be using much more energy than you realise - and this could be costing you.
Whilst there has been quite a knowledge revolution in the consumer marketplace, it is only now that the same obligation to provide such information is to become a requirement in the commercial sector. With commercial refrigeration operating 24/7, it ranks as one of the largest consumers of energy. Getting to grips with energy ratings and making informed choices when it comes to acquiring such equipment can have a huge impact on running costs.
At Carlton, we pride ourselves on offering our customers not only the very best products and customer service, but also on providing expert advice from a knowledgeable team. That’s why we’ve prepared this useful guide on the new MEPS regulations on energy ratings especially for you.
MEPS - What’s Changing and When?
From 1st July 2016, a new ruling on MEPS (Minimum Energy Performance Standard) comes into force. Set by the EU and initially applying to certain groups of refrigeration equipment, the new laws will apply to any product sold within the EU - whether or not it was manufactured here or imported from outside. The MEPS is a limit on the maximum amount of energy a product may consume during operation.
Just like with domestic ratings, a scale from A-G measured against a controlled test standard will be given for every applicable appliance. It is important to note however, that this scale is adapted for different groups of products - in this case commercial service refrigerated cabinets and counters. This means that an A rated television and an A rated commercial refrigerator cannot be directly compared as using the same amount of energy.
The information will be displayed in exactly the same way as domestic appliances - using graphic labels ranging from the very best performing A rating to the least efficient G rating. (A plus + symbol may also be used to indicate even better performance, but this is unlikely to apply in the case of commercial appliances).
Under the present plans, any product falling below a ‘G’ will be ineligible for sale in within the EU. With the progressive strategy adopted by the EU, it can be expected that this minimum performance level will be set even higher in the future.
Does MEPS Apply to All Refrigeration and Cooling Equipment?
No. Initially, it will apply to a limited range of refrigeration equipment - specifically professional refrigerated storage cabinets and counters. Whilst this may not seem significant, it is important to bear in mind that these are amongst the biggest energy consumers as they run 24/7. The changes will also affect a wide variety of different premises, given that such equipment can be found in shops, restaurants and cafes, commercial kitchens, foodservice companies and more. If you operate any form of commercial refrigeration equipment, you should be aware of what is changing.
It is anticipated that from 1st January, the requirement will be extended to include commercial display cabinets, and later other types of refrigeration such as blast freezers, cold store facilities etc - meaning even more companies will be affected
The overall goal is to cover not only commercial refrigeration, but to extend to all commercial equipment within the next few years.
How Does MEPS Affect Me As a Refrigeration Buyer?
Most importantly, it means that you are better informed, meaning you can choose refrigeration and cooling equipment whose energy performance is optimum for your environment. The minimum level of efficiency is also going to constantly rise, so that overall performance standards of equipment become better. As a result, you will be much better positioned to understand the longer term operating costs of your equipment, not just the initial outlay and make your buying decisions accordingly.
The ratings will be based on certain levels of ambient operating temperature, meaning that it will be important to assess the performance in relation to the intended application.
In addition, by choosing certified ‘Green’ equipment, you may be entitled to use the Enhanced Capital Allowance (ETA) Scheme. Under the ETA, buyers can claim up to 100% first year capital allowance on a product if it’s on the ETL at the time of purchase. See the section on ECA/ETL to learn more.
It should be noted that changes to the structure of the ETL Scheme are expected to be made once the MEPS legislation comes into effect, however these remain to be confirmed
What Do Energy Efficiency Labels Actually Mean?
Whether you’re a keen energy saver or not, the standard EU energy performance labels are now a familiar site. A typical label looks like the one shown below.
The meanings of each section are as follows:
The first section consists of a number of coloured bars indicating the energy efficiency rating, from maximum to minimum, based on the appliances consumption under specific conditions. Dark green denotes the most efficient, whilst red indicates the lowest efficiency within the category.
It is the dark green A rating that will indicate ‘Green Products’ which qualify for attractive tax breaks under the Enhanced Capital Allowance Scheme (ECA) - see the following sections.
As mentioned previously, products in different categories cannot be compared as they operate to a different standard.
Total Energy Used
Below this and to the right is a box which displays the total energy used in Kilowatt hours (kWh) per year, based on standard usage. The lower this figure, the lower the operating cost. It must be remembered that actual performance and savings are variable on factors affecting the given appliance such as ambient temperature for a refrigerator. Nonetheless, they give a good overall indicator of cost effectiveness.
In the third section at the bottom of the label, you will find icons which relate specifically to the given type. In the case of domestic refrigerators, for example, this includes:
- the capacity of fresh foods in litres for refrigerators and combined appliances
- the capacity of frozen foods in litres for freezers and combined appliances
- the noise in dB(A)
Visit the following for a useful pdf guide: https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/69295/pb13466-eu-energy-label.pdf
What Are ETL and ECA?
At present, any appliance that is A rated may be considered to be a Green Product. A Green Product has been officially certified as an energy saving product under the ETL Scheme.
What is the ETL Scheme?
According to the official government advice for buyers, “The ETL (or Energy Technology Product List, ETPL) is a government-managed list of energy-efficient plant and machinery, such as boilers, electric motors, and air conditioning and refrigeration systems that qualify for full tax relief. For a product to be on the ETL, it must meet specific energy-saving or energy-efficient criteria. It is part of the Enhanced Capital Allowance (ECA) tax scheme for businesses.
The Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) annually reviews the technologies and products that qualify for inclusion. The ETL is managed on behalf of DECC by the Carbon Trust.”
What is the ECA Scheme?
Gov.UK explains the ECA Scheme as follows:
“The ECA scheme means that a business can invest in energy-saving plant or machinery that might otherwise be too expensive.
The first year allowances let businesses set 100% of the cost of the assets against taxable profits in a single tax year. This means the company can write off the cost of the new plant or machinery against the business’s taxable profits in the financial year the purchase was made.
An ECA is claimed through a business’s income or corporation tax return in the same way as any other capital allowance. HM Revenue and Customs is responsible for the tax-related aspects of the ECA scheme.”
How Can I Go Green With Carlton?
At Carlton, we are committed to offering our customers a constantly growing range of green products, not only helping you to stay ahead of the game in terms of both sustainability and energy laws, but also helping you to make real time cost savings through both reduced energy consumption and eligibility for government tax incentives as they become available.
By investing in green equipment, you can also demonstrate your company's commitment to environmentally friendly operations - which is increasingly becoming a determining factor for both customers and stakeholders, existing and new.
Let’s take a look at some of the green products currently available - which not only includes refrigeration and freezer equipment but also many air conditioning units too.
The LEC BC6097ST is one of a range of British made Green refrigeration products from this popular and trusted manufacturer. This particular model has a capacity of 150 litres and has adjustable shelving, making it suitable for a range of both bottles and cans. The real beauty of this particular model is the LED lighting, which does much more that simply creating an attractive display - The LED solution lasts longer than traditional lighting, and uses an impressive 7% less energy too.
Foster EcoPro G2 EP1/2H Double Door Counter Fridge
The EcoPro G2 counter range has been developed to meet the increased demands of today's kitchen and offers the flexibility and quality you would expect from Foster as well as being highly efficient. Not only that, it is also ergonomically designed and easy to clean, as well as featuring touch screen, smart-phone style displays. If you are looking to invest in a refrigerated counter, you can’t fail to be impressed.
Foster EP700H Single Door Refrigerator
Mitsubishi Electric's new range of high specification, flat panel wall mounted models make use of inverter technology, whilst providing extremely good value for money, costing approximately 20% less than the MSZ-G equivalent. These units have extremely quiet sound levels, whilst also delivering economical air conditioning, with improved COP/EER figures
With over three decades of experience in the commercial refrigeration sector and a passion for helping our customers get the very best out of their investment, we are always happy to help and advice. To see our full range of certified Green appliances, click here. To talk to one of our friendly experts call us on 01793 512550 or contact us online.
If you haven’t already gone green, there’s never been a better time!