Talking point: Time to invest in energy efficient equipment

No excuse for an inefficient kitchen

No excuse for an inefficient kitchen

In our latest Talking Point, Simon Frost, chair of CESA explains why new EU Directives mean there’s no excuse for purchasing less energy efficient kitchen equipment.

Since the 1st of July 2016, the EU’s Energy Labelling and Ecodesign Directives now apply for commercial catering equipment as well as domestic appliances. While readers of Green Hotelier will be aware of the importance of considering sustainability when making purchasing decisions, the new directives will make it one of the top criteria for anybody buying new refrigeration equipment within Europe.

Until now hoteliers have had to negotiate a piecemeal series of schemes when looking to evaluate the impact of new equipment. The new directives are designed to help you make accurate comparisons of running and overall lifetime costs, and build a more sustainable kitchen.

The first category of equipment to be brought under the new Directives is refrigeration; specifically Professional Refrigerated Storage Cabinets (PRSCs). This covers counters and single or double upright cabinets which you might use for example during the breakfast buffet or to display chilled drinks. From the 1st of July all PRSCs sold throughout Europe will have to be tested within the framework of the Ecodesign Directives, and will carry labels displaying their energy efficiency ratings. Efficiency is rated from A or A+++ to G, where A/A+++ is the highest.

While PRSCs are the first category of equipment to be covered by the new Directives, work has already begun on other refrigeration categories, along with ovens and warewashers. Currently no firm timelines for these new categories have been established, but when they are in place, there can be no excuse for not considering the environment and our COP21 2 degrees C commitments when making purchasing decisions for the kitchen.

Currently one might think it would be easy to compare the energy efficiency of different manufacturers' equipment. However, until now every manufacturer has used different tests, which may not provide comparable results.

The new directives ensure that all equipment is tested using the same robust methods, allowing them to be compared like-for-like. The tests are designed to reflect conditions of use in real life, for example measuring the impact of opening doors several times an hour as they would be in commercial kitchens.

This mean hoteliers can be confident that the rating will reflect the true energy efficiency of each piece of equipment and, therefore, can make accurate predictions of the environmental impact of new equipment.

As a first step and to help hoteliers understand the new directives, CESA, the Catering Equipment Suppliers Association in the UK, has published a guide to them and the concepts underpinning them.

The guide is available to download from the Buyers Guide section of their website With other categories of equipment scheduled to be covered by the directives it is vital for equipment buyers to become aware of what they are and how they work, and the guide is an important resource for this. Investing in energy efficient equipment can become part of everyone's sustainable purchasing strategy.

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