Date: 2022-11-07 15:17:00

Note: This article appears in the 2022 edition of AMCA inmotion magazine.

By HASSAN ABOU JAWHAR, Director, AMCA Europe and AMCA Middle East

Following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the European Union (EU) finds itself in the midst of an unprecedented energy crisis impacting all layers of society. On both the union and member-state levels, steps to transform Europe’s energy infrastructure and system are being considered.

One of the more concrete measures is REPowerEU, presented by the European Commission in May. The aim of the plan is to “rapidly reduce dependence on Russian fossil fuels and fast-forward the green transition, while increasing the resilience of the EU-wide energy system.”

Fit for 55 is a package of proposals to revise EU climate-, energy-, and transportation-related legislation to reduce net greenhouse-gas emissions by 55 percent or more by 2030.

On March 30, the European Commission published a proposal for a new Ecodesign for Sustainable Products Regulation, one extending the scope of the Ecodesign Directive from energy-related products to nearly all categories of physical goods. Aimed at enhancing the circularity, energy performance, and other environmental-sustainability aspects of products, the proposed regulation significantly impacts the way products are designed. At the end of 2022, we can expect the European Commission to present a plan identifying requirements for high-priority product groups.

Commission Regulation (EU) No 327/2011, which concerns ecodesign requirements for fans driven by motors with an electric input power of 125 W to 500 kW, is undergoing revision. During the second consultation forum on April 1, the European Commission unveiled major changes related to scope, definitions, formulas, resource efficiency requirements, required information, and allowances for reversible and low-noise fans. The meeting was followed by a four-week public comment period. The new regulation is likely to be approved during the first half of 2023.

Commission Regulation (EU) No 1253/2014, which concerns ecodesign requirements for ventilation units, is in the final stages of review. Following the final consultation forum on March 10, the European Commission decided to launch a dedicated technical-support study for further analysis of the feedback collected from stakeholders. A final meeting is expected to take place in Brussels, Belgium, in the coming months. During this year’s spring meeting, the most debated topics were the use of control factors for the energy-label calculation and the proposed energy label for residential ventilation units.

Revised in 2018, the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive will help building and renovation objectives of the European Green Deal be met. The updated directive aims to increase building renovation rates, reduce greenhouse-gas emissions and energy consumption, and promote the uptake of renewable energy in buildings. It would introduce a new definition of “zero-emissions building” applicable to all new buildings from 2027 and all renovated buildings from 2030. Additionally, it would accelerate energy-efficient renovations of the lowest-performing 15 percent of EU buildings and set minimum energy performance standards. Every building would need to achieve at least a Class E rating on the revised A-G scale for energy-performance certificates. Other provisions propose building-renovation passports and a smart-readiness indicator and extend building automation and control systems. EU member states are in the process of preparing national-policy measures to meet these new objectives.

European AMCA will be active in all of these initiatives, ensuring that the voice of the air-movement-and-control industry is heard.