As we draw nearer to the time we were promised a decision by the EU on the scrapping of WERs and the introduction of a new Europe-wide scheme, this video might provide a hint as to what the new Energy Rating Label could look like:

Much more information

Did you spot it? Near the end of the video there was perhaps a hint as to what the new European Energy Label might look like and what sorts of information would be included on there.

As you can see from the video and from the image, there is a lot more information on this format of label than the UK’s current one.

This one takes into account and shows heating and cooling performance, acoustic performance and daylight performance. This new label even takes into account your place in Europe. You can’t argue, this form of label is far more comprehensive than the current one we use in the UK, and would certainly give the homeowner much more information to make a better informed decision before choosing which windows are best for their property. But I have a great deal of questions surrounding this potential form of EU Energy Label.

Why? How?

Firstly, whilst this potential first glimpse shows off a pretty good stab at what it could look like, do we really need to get rid of ours completely? Our current certificate already contains the window energy rating of the window. I can’t see it being that difficult for the BFRC to add information like acoustic performance, heating/cooling comparison etc like the one on the right does. Of course the BFRC would like to make some more money out of that sort of thing by probably asking companies to have their products retested and pay for the improved certificates. But I can’t see a need for any heavy handedness from Europe to make us do it, especially when our current one is functional, although far from perfect.

I’m also unsure about this new feature which shows the location in Europe. Will this new label show the homeowner what rating a window falls under depending on which country? Will the same window have a different rating in different countries? Would the same window be more efficient in the UK than it would be in Sweden for example? I think that could cause a bit of confusion at first if true.

How are these calculations going to be worked out. The current WER system is dogged by questions and doubt about the maths behind the calculations. If we’re being forced to take up this new label, the EU should also publish exactly how these calculation works and what information is taken into account when making them.

Education will be key

If we’re being made to scrap our own WER label, which consumers instantly recognise, then we need to be given money for us to go to the masses and educate homeowners about this new EU Energy Label.

Communication, or lack of it, is one of the main reasons why many governmental schemes and initiatives have failed in the past. If the EU is determined to enforce it’s own energy label, we need the cash, literature, facts and figures and everything else required so we can all go to our customer to explain what this new labels is and means for them.

As for the whole thing, I’m still against it. I’m not a fan of the EU meddling in our own affairs.

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