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EcoDesign Lot 20: Everything you need to know

By Ryan Shaw

We break down everything you need to know about the new Lot 20 EcoDesign legislation and how it will change the electric heating industry in 2018.

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Lot 20 is the name given to new legislation that marks the biggest change the electric heating industry has undergone in some time. The new legislation, which came into force at the beginning of 2018, is set to improve the efficiency and performance of electric heaters.

According to Lot 20 legislation, all local space heaters for sale in the EU will need to adhere to these new rules, even if they’ve been manufactured overseas. So what does that mean for the industry and, more importantly, for you?

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What is Lot 20?

Lot 20 is a new piece of legislation for electrical heating products that aims to reduce harm to the environment and produce ongoing energy savings for consumers. Essentially, all heaters will have to incorporate intelligent room temperature controls to minimise wasted energy.

To comply with the new legislation, all electric heaters sold and manufactured in the EU will have to meet a minimum efficiency rating, expressed as a percentage. Of course, the rating will differ for different electric heater categories, however most electric heaters will start with a base rating of 30%.

Efficiency is concluded by how many energy saving features are built-in to the product; so, if a product doesn’t have any of these functions, it won’t adhere to the new regulations and will be prohibited for sale within the EU.

How is compliance achieved?

Portable heaters must have:

  • Mechanic thermostat room temperature control as a minimum.

Optional additional energy saving features:

  • Presence or open-window detection – the heater is equipped with an electronic device that automatically reduces the temperature when no person is detected in the room or if a window is open.
  • Remote control via an app – control temperature via a companion app on your phone or tablet  
  • Adaptive start control.

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What products are covered?

Lot 20 legislation covers all local space heaters manufactured for sale in the EU after 1 January 2018 which use electricity, gaseous or liquid fuels. This includes:

  • Storage heaters
  • Direct-acting heating (panel heaters and electric radiators)
  • Portable heaters
  • Underfloor heating
  • Radiant heaters
  • Electric and gas fires

How does this affect you?

If you already own an existing heater, you don’t need to replace it. Any non-compliant electric heaters will no longer be manufactured after January 2018, but some retailers may still sell existing models after the date until stock levels have expired. This means, you don’t need to change any of your heaters right now but just be mindful of replacements units in the future.

All warranties, for compliant or non-compliant electric heaters, will still be honoured as normal.

Why the change?

The EU commission has acknowledged the lack of efficient controls on electric heating is contributing to wasted energy. This new legislation is a part of a drive to minimise that wasted energy to meet our carbon reduction targets. Around half of the energy used in our homes is used in the form of heat, so it’s easy to see how much of a difference this could make across the EU.

Will it increase costs?

As part of the legislation to reduce consumption and emissions, manufacturers have to apply 'existing, non-proprietary technologies'. This means, while the initial price for the heater may be more expensive to cover the cost of technologies developed, over the lifetime of the product, running costs will be cheaper.

Does Lot 20 still apply when we leave the EU?

Even with the impending exit from the EU, the legislation has been written into UK law. So when we leave the EU, Lot 20 will still apply. 

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