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Ecodesign for stoves

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Ecodesign

Ecodesign is a set of regulations which sets tough new standards for stoves across the whole of Europe. Ecodesign is set to come into full force in 2022. Before then we have the introduction of mandatory energy labelling for stoves (much like the energy labels we already have for things like washing machines), which starts in 2018.

The point of Ecodesign is to save energy and improve the performance of appliances. It is a much than just stoves, and applies to lots of appliances and devices across the EU already. Minimum efficiency levels are set as well as particulate and NOX emission limits. The initial feedback from the test labs is that these emission limits are probably more stringent than those set for UK Smoke Control Areas. So by 2022 all new stoves will likely burn cleaner than those currently permitted to be used in Smoke Control Areas. In addition we gain a NOX limit which is not currently tested for, nor limits set. In reality the Ecodesign criteria are likely to be met sooner than this, with many of the better manufacturers opting for early adoption.

This shows a really forward thinking and positive response from the stove industry. In the Smoke Control Areas there are currenly no limits set for vehicle emissions, but there are emission limits set for stoves. And soon these stricter Ecodesign limits will apply across the whole of the UK. Hopefully by then air quality measures as suggested by DEFRA in their recent air quality consultation (all rather good suggestions in my opinion) will come into force: if they do then we will see the creation of Clean Air Zones instead of Smoke Control areas with (finally) limits set for vehicles and large-scale provision of electric public transport in city centres.

The criteria for Ecodesign are not finalised yet, with a sticking point being the test for particulate emissions. There are various test methods used across the EU. There is a comparison table giving the emissions limits for each type of test but the legislators want a single testing method to be used. That means a bit of wrangling back and forth as of course lots of the test labs already have existing, and very expensive, equipment in place and each will argue for the merits of their particular test method.

In the meantime stoves which meet the current Ecodesign criteria are shown on the Stovesonline website with an "Ecodesign Ready" logo.

Ecodesign ready logo

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