A government consultation on the post-Brexit future for the Energy Related Products (ErP) Directive has asked if stricter energy efficiency standards were needed for space cooling.
A majority of the 11 responses received from NGOs and other specialists working in cooling said better minimum energy performance standards could be set for cooling technologies.
Nine respondents in total said amendments would be possible post-Brexit, with two responses rejecting the idea.
However, there was less consensus on any preferred timetable for introducing such changes or how exactly the standards should be defined.
Reponses from a member of the public and an unspecified NGO were directly in favour of using Brexit as an opportunity to have “more ambitious” minimum performance standards from cooling technologies.
The consultation response stated, “The NGO felt that higher standards could be set for lower cost products such as portable air conditioners and comfort fans as they suggest they tend to be less efficient.”
“The same respondent also suggested that the UK should adopt some of the measures currently being considered in the review of the EU Air-conditioning and Comfort Fan Regulation.”
Another consideration included in the consultation was around the possible use of refrigerants as a means of cutting energy demand required for space cooling.
The government cited one manufacturer that backed the extended use of flammable refrigerant in terms of space cooling products. Use of such gases alongside improved safety measures and components was seen as a potential means to ensure more efficient cooling.
Industry has already begun to look at refrigerant that introduces a lower level of flammability as a means of meeting obligations to limit greenhouse gas emissions under F-gas regulation that is part of both EU and UK law.
However, the response did not make mention of what type of flammable products were being recommended. The issue of charge size with regard to how refrigerants such as higher flammability A3 products are used within cooling is part of a complex ongoing industry discussion around standards.