A new renewable energy-based and smart energy system requires smart appliances able to interact with each other and with the grid in order to exploit their full balancing potential. In the framework of Ecodesign lot 33, the European Commission commissioned a study in 2014 to analyse all technical, economic, environmental, market and societal aspects relevant for a broad market introduction of smart appliances. EHPA is among the consulted stakeholders.
The latest draft report recommended as best policy instrument the inclusion of a reference under the form of an icon in the Energy Label, combined with a label information requirement under the ecodesign regulations. Indeed, such option had the advantage of not limiting consumers' choice, but to provide uniform information to enable better comparison of products, as well as to ensure compatibility of energy-smart appliances
Relevance of the topic for the heat pump industry:
- According to the European Commission's study group, energy-smart appliances are those that are able to automatically respond to external stimuli (price information, direct control signals, and/or local measurements) and change their electricity consumption pattern. Heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems (HVAC appliances) were identified as the area having the highest potential for demand response. The industry can therefore gain visibility by exploiting the demand response potential of heat pumps.
- The energy sector is moving fast towards smart grids and smart appliances, and it is important that the heat pump industry remains at the forefront of these changes and continue to innovate by including smartness in its technologies. EHPA believes that the demand-side flexibility functionality of products should be voluntary and not affect the energy label. Demand-side flexible appliances should, however, be interoperable and subject to (non-burdensome) third party verification.