Verification tolerances and measurement uncertainties

ECOS welcomes the new ‘Recommendations for establishing verification tolerance considering measurement uncertainty’. The document has been developed by experts, including ECOS, in the CEN-CENELEC Ecodesign Coordination Group. ECOS has longstanding involvement in the regulatory and standardisation debates on measurement uncertainty and verification tolerances.

Last year, the European Commission published an omnibus amendment for all Ecodesign and Energy Labelling regulations that closed a loophole that left verification tolerances open for abuse by manufacturers. By doing so, manufacturers could report more efficient products compared to reality. The closed loophole now only allows market surveillance authorities to refer to verification tolerances.

Following the omnibus amendment, the experts at CEN-CENELEC, with the active contribution from ECOS, have gone one step further by recognising that verification tolerances, must also be set at the right level.

Specifically, the document outlines that ‘’setting the verification tolerance equal to an expanded uncertainty, is a compromise between the interest of the consumer and the policy of a realistic declaration of values and the risk of manufacturers to be falsely challenged of a non-complying declaration’’. This direct link between measurement uncertainty and verification tolerances will hopefully prevent tolerances from being set arbitrarily.

ECOS considers this to be an important first step towards reducing the level of verification tolerances allowed for the different product groups. This in turn will improve the quality of test methods and provide more accurate information to consumers via the energy labels.