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FROM 26TH SEPTEMBER this year, all heat pumps designed for installations up to 70 kW must display an energy label of the type that we are used to seeing on TVs, refrigerators, etc. The purpose is to enable the consumer to compare the energy efficiency of products. G indicates the least efficient performance and A+++ the most efficient. This is all part of EU Directive 2010/30/EU that sets higher demands on drastically lowering the emission levels and energy consumption.
Heat pumps can display a number of different labels. They all have a product label which provides information about the energy efficiency class, power requirement and noise level. The label also has a map that divides Europe into three different climate zones. A suitable power requirement is specified for each climate. The energy efficiency class displayed on the label is based on average climate conditions, which can be slightly misleading for those who live in other climate zones, especially when it comes to air-to-water heat pumps. It is necessary to consult the product sheet in order to obtain correct information about how the product performs in other climate conditions.
One should note that the scale only goes up to A++ for space heating and A for domestic hot water.
All energy labelling for space heating is based on energy efficiency over an entire year. Heat pumps also have different energy labels depending on whether radiators or floor heating is used.
Heat pumps that produce hot water normally belong to energy efficiency Class A. To achieve higher efficiency, they need to be combined with solar heating. The quantity of hot water will also be visualised by a tap symbol indicating sizes, tap profiles, from 3XS to XXL.
Product marking can be supported with package marking either directly from the manufacturer or the installer. The package label shows the energy consumption of the entire heating system and also takes into account how the system is controlled, any external auxiliary boiler and if it is combined with solar heating. Since most heat pumps already have an integrated control system, many of them will have a package label from the manufacturer. If you add a solar collector and other systems, you can easily make your own system label in NIBE DIM.
The efficiency that determines a product's energy class is based on so-called primary energy. This means that an energy factor of 2.5 is used for products powered by electricity. A factor of 1 is used for products powered by oil or gas. The 2.5 factor for electrical energy is used throughout the European Union and it is based on the average efficiency of electricity generation in Europe.
Despite this, heat pumps will end up right at the top of the energy labelling scale. This primary energy factor will make it much tougher for products like electric water heaters to achieve a top rating, as they rarely achieve higher than a Class C rating, despite their excellent insulation.