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UK Energy-related Products Policy Study

Following the UK’s departure from the EU, new EU Ecodesign and Energy Labelling measures no longer automatically apply in Great Britain.

Instead of the European Commission, the UK Government has taken responsibility for setting regulatory standards and designing policy to limit the environmental impacts of Energy-related Products (ErPs) in the UK. ErPs are products that have a direct or indirect impact on energy consumption during use.

This study provided an opportunity for subject matter experts and other interested parties to help inform UK priorities for ErPs. We’d like to thank the 300+ stakeholders who registered interest and made 190 different contributions in all stages of the project. The two stakeholder meetings were well attended, and detailed feedback received during the final consultation resulted in an improved evidence base. We’ve now published the final reports and invite you to review.

About the study

BEIS, in association with Defra, commissioned ICF to undertake this research project to help inform future UK priorities for ErPs.

The aim of the study was to identify ErPs (i.e. products that have a direct or indirect impact on energy consumption during use) which have the greatest environmental impact considering in particular their contribution to carbon emissions and resource depletion and have the most potential for improving their environmental performance.

The latter part of the study focused on a shortlist of product groups and horizontal measures and presented additional evidence to help inform policy makers in their decision making.

This project was completed in July 2021.

Summary of findings

Estimates of energy consumption, technical energy savings potential, and composition of materials were prepared for each shortlisted product group. Building automated control systems (BACS), retrofit measures for refrigerated display cabinets, heat emitters, and professional hobs were found to have the largest technical potential to achieve new energy savings. The product groups with the highest potential to achieve savings cost effectively were found to be non-domestic BACS, heat emitters, refrigeration compressors, and water pumps. Little evidence was available to judge the impacts of applying various policy levers to the shortlisted products.

Case studies on four horizontal measures (requirements for material content and declaration, repairability measures – modular design, product support, and mandatory minimum warranty/ guarantee) were prepared and identified relevant standards, policies and legislation in place around the world. The review found little evidence of impacts, partly due to the measures being in their infancy, but also due to challenges in quantifying costs and benefits. It was also found that many measures overlap, making it challenging to identify a succinct scope for each case study. Findings highlighted the European Union as a leader in advancing the circular economy agenda.

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