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EEPLIANT Report Summary

Project ID: 649894
Funded under: H2020-EU.3.3.7.

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - EEPLIANT (Energy Efficiency Complaint Products 2014)

Reporting period: 2015-03-01 to 2016-04-30

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

Market surveillance across the EU in respect of the Ecodesign Directive 2009/125/EC and the Energy Labelling Directive 2010/30/EU is not routinely undertaken by all the relevant authorities in a harmonised or coordinated way. This is important for without good market surveillance, there is no way to ensure that products comply with these Directives. Non-compliance penalises much of society: purchasers and users and those economic operators facing unfair competition from the supply of non-compliant products. Though some authorities have established working procedures that can be described as “best practice”, not all authorities have yet built the skills or had the resources to work at those levels. The objective of EEPLIANT 2014 (Energy Efficiency Compliant Products 2014) is to help deliver the intended economic and environmental benefits of these energy efficiency regulations by strengthening the skills and capacities of those market surveillance authorities leading to increasing compliance with the Directives and the relevant implementing regulations.

Work performed from the beginning of the project to the end of the period covered by the report and main results achieved so far

The programme of work was subdivided into seven Work Packages (WPs). In summary:
WP1 was to provide effective management, coordination and strategic direction throughout the duration of the project. This, for the period covered by this report, was achieved through forming a Management Team (MT) of representatives of each beneficiary and an Advisory Board who’s membership is made up of project stakeholder organisations. Meetings (2 for the MT, 1 for the AB) have been organised as well as a substantial number of meetings specific to individual WPs. Administrative management has been taking place through monitoring the progress of deliverables and through maintaining a continuing liaison with EASME. Coordination and technical management is being supported on a day-to-day basis through the work of the facilitators appointed to each WP by the coordinating beneficiary.
WP2 was tasked to produce and publish Best Practice Guidelines, which was accomplished in the period covered by this report. The tasks of familiarisation with those Best Practice Guidelines and the subsequent adoption of them is ongoing, with both being accomplished through the work being undertaken by the beneficiaries in WPs 4, 5 & 6. An additional task emerged, that of developing database solutions. This was necessary when it became clear that the originally intended solution of using (an adoption of) the ECOPLIANT database had been overtaken by the increasing popularity of ICSMS (the ECOPIANT database was no longer being used by any market surveillance authority (MSA)). At this time, exploration of further development of ICSMS is ongoing.
WP3 was tasked to develop training materials and training opportunities both through attended events and through access to on-line materials. This, for the period covered by this report, was achieved by holding a training event in Brussels and by posting training materials on-line that can be downloaded, if required, to enable self-learning to take place either on or off-line.
WP4 was the first of three work packages that were to focus on the core task for MSAs, that of the inspection and testing of products to check their compliance with the applicable regulations. These, for WP4, were the energy labelling and ecodesign requirements for LED lamps, 874/2012 and supplementing Directive 2010/30/EU and , for Ecodesign, 1194/2012. In the period covered by this report, document screening of more than 130 models had been completed by most participating beneficiaries using a coordinated and harmonised set of methodologies. Screening tests had been undertaken on 117 models resulting in ca 50% of those examined being judged to have likely non-compliances. And, following a competitive tendering process, test laboratories had been contracted to undertake full compliance testing on 86 models. Although testing is still continuing, some enforcement measures have already begun to take place based on the results of document inspections.
WP5 was tasked to develop a market surveillance approach for products covered by a Voluntary Agreement (VA) recognised by the European Commission under the Ecodesign Directive (2009/125/EC). This, for WP5, was that for Imaging Equipment (printers, selected from copiers, faxes, scanners and MFDs). No VA has previously been examined by MSAs as the legal basis of VAs is very different to those covered by the requirements of the Commission Regulations that implement the corresponding Directive. A number of difficulties with the VA have already been encountered that have included potentially having to raise deposit funding of €4000 for each product that the MSAs wanted to challenge the compliance of and, perhaps even more significantly, that identifying the products that are actually covered by the VA cannot be done by the MSAs as it has to be done by the “Independent Inspector” appointed by the supply-side signatories to the VA. Despite this, products are currently being selected for test that are covered by the VA and contracts are about to be given to test laboratories following a competitive tendering process.
WP6 is carrying out an action for coordinated monitoring, verification and enforcement for space and combination heaters subject to energy labelling (COMMISSION DELEGATED REGULATION (EU) No 811/2013) and ecodesign (COMMISSION REGULATION (EU) No 813/2013). This WP is focussed on dealing with the types of products that most MSAs are finding particularly challenging – the larger more powerful products found in the professional and industrial markets. These particular regulations cover a huge market that required the participating beneficiaries to spend some time working together in order to break it down into the categories that they jointly wanted to work on. Following that, and the requisite market study, the beneficiaries have made an intensive examination of the documentation that the economic operators are required to supply. This, for these products, has been quite complex and templates were developed to assist each of the beneficiaries to work in a harmonised way. At this time, test laboratories are about to be appointed following a competitive tendering process.
WP7 is delivering a proactive and highly visible communication plan direct to stakeholders; supply chain and the wider user community. A large number of communication activities have taken place in the period covered by this report. These include using developing the project website from which all project documentation can be downloaded, the release of a newsletter in four languages and a press release six languages. National communications events have been held by three beneficiaries. Other communication avenues have included the use of Advisory Board members as a communications conduit to their wider national membership and the establishment of a Twitter account. This account is used to target the professional audience, such as the industry associations, civic organizations, individual manufacturers, experts, policymakers, authorities and interested consumers. 130 tweets have so far been made.
Overall – all WPs are progressing much as planned with no significant exceptions to report.

Progress beyond the state of the art and expected potential impact (including the socio-economic impact and the wider societal implications of the project so far)

Progress beyond the state of the art is being achieved in WPs 3, 5 & 6.
WP3 – has published e-learning training tools for market surveillance authority staff to access at no cost through the EEPLIANT website. This is the first time that such training tools have been made available in this way to such staff.
WP5 – is examining the detailed workings of a Voluntary Agreement (VA) endorsed under the Ecodesign Directive by the European Commission. This is the first time the market surveillance authorities have subjected one of the these VAs to a detailed scrutiny under operational conditions. This scrutiny is identifying deficiencies in the functioning of the VA.
WP6 – is arranging to undertake a market surveillance inspection of professional equipment that can only be done in situ because the equipment is too large and too powerful to be tested in conventional test laboratory of the type normally used by such authorities. This is believed to be the first time such large professional equipment has been examined by market surveillance authorities enforcing the Ecodesign Directive.
WP6 has also undertaken a “round-robin” between the market surveillance authorities in respect of making document examinations. These are more usually associated with laboratory testing but as documentation examination is, perhaps, the most important “tool” that the authorities use then making sure that these are done in a thorough and consistent way is very valuable. It is believed that this is the first time that this has been done between different authorities.

The potential impact from the work of this project is expected to fall in the following areas:
Enabling policy – 13 national market surveillance authorities are now actively engaged with enforcing in this policy area. In some cases, at levels that they have never achieved previously.
Building capacities and skills - staff from MSAs across the EEA will receive training and will develop competences in work methodologies that are based on best practices established in other authorities.
Energy savings will be triggered by the project within its duration and in the period that follows. This will be achieved through the enforcement actions undertaken as a direct result of the inspections in done in WPs 4 & 6 since these will remove non-compliant products from the market i.e. those that are consuming higher levels of energy consumption than are permitted under the regulations.

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