03 September 2019

New position paper! Stricter regulations are needed for electric heaters

Consumers are not informed of the poor performance of portable electric heaters, which can still be bought for very low prices (around 20€) and can effectively comply with the existing regulation with a simple mechanic thermostat control. The low purchase price is however offset by the related energy consumption which inflates the electricity bills - something consumers may not fully realise when making that purchase. Electric heaters should be included in the scope of the Energy Labelling Regulation!

Converting electricity into heat through resistance is by far the least efficient way of using primary energy to produce comfort heat. It contributes to severe electricity demand peaks in winter, requiring to oversize power grids with polluting flexible power plants operating on fossil fuels.

Regrettably, electric heaters are one of the most popular form of heating in the EU, although widespread alternatives such as heat pumps are far more efficient.

With 18 million units expected to be sold in 2020, electric heaters represent both the largest share of products covered by the local space heaters group and the largest potential for energy savings. Of the 94TWh/year primary energy savings expected for local space heaters in 2030, 63TWh/year (i.e. 67%) are from electric heaters. The Ecodesign Regulation, currently being revised, enables these significant energy savings, but the ambition of the proposed ecodesign requirements could be drastically increased. More importantly, electric heaters should be included in the scope of the Energy Labelling Regulation, which currently fails to cover 71% of the product group.

Read the Coolproducts position paper and learn what can be done to improve the efficiency of this tricky products group.

ECOS is co-funded by the European Commission and EFTA

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