Is Great Britain becoming the Wild West?

In an article from 24th October The Economist concludes that “Should Britain ditch Ecodesign, EU manufacturers would not be entirely disappointed. They would at least have a nearby market where they could flog the below-standard, out-of-date appliances they could no longer sell on the continent.” This may, to some extent, already be the case: some of the leading cooker hood manufacturers do not publish the EU data sheets, despite the fact that this has been compulsory since 1st January 2015.

NeutraTEST works intensively with the markets in Germany, France, Denmark, and Great Britain and, surprisingly, in the UK the EU 65/2014 standard test results are not readily available. Elica, a renowned Italian manufacturer, probably among the top 5 in the world, has chosen to publish data in the required way on the (continental) European market for each and every extractor hood – but not for the identical models sold in Great Britain. Falcon, a prestigious British manufacturer with significant exports, has finally published the data for most of its models. Thank you! Transparency with regard to performance data gives the consumer a fair chance of making the right purchase decision. Caple, a British kitchen retail chain, is proud of their “well-engineered” OEM extractor hoods sold in their name. We look forward to seeing their performance data published as soon as possible.

When NeutraTEST analyses the manufacturing trend for extractor hoods, manufacturers' seriousness is clear. We note a very positive tendency, both with regards to the performance of the extractor fans and the reliability of the (EU) data sheets. Looking at our lab tests, and tests from other laboratories on a European level, we see that the extraction level and noise measurements undertaken and published (in most cases) by the manufacturers are extremely precise when compared to the control tests. Furthermore, as stated in the above quoted article from The Economist, the energy consumption has been significantly reduced at a very limited cost. In short, this is a true WIN-WIN-WIN situation: Better performance, less energy consumption, AND reliable, comparable information from the manufacturers.

The reason why the data communicated is reliable is the obligation for each of the 28 EU member states (still including the UK) to verify Ecodesign and Energy Labelling. In Great Britain the NMRO (National Measurement and Regulation Office) is the enforcement body for Ecodesign and Energy Labelling. In an answer to NeutraTEST NMRO wrote: “We undertake a range of measures to check for compliance including documentation inspection and accredited testing conducted by third parties.” In Denmark, in a survey by the Ministry of Energy, the local enforcement body seven extractor hood manufacturers were checked and the results were published.

Not everything that comes from the EU is necessarily good! However, NeutraTEST believes that there is strong evidence that Ecodesign and Energy Labelling have been very positive initiatives, and that it would make a lot of sense for Britain to remain in these schemes, and for the EU and its member states to continue pushing for better performance and full transparency at all levels.

The Economist, October 24th 2016: "Toasters and Europe: The EU is reviewing the policy that makes its appliances so energy efficient"

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