We must work with the EU on key directives


BPMA’s Steve Schofield explains why it is essential that the pump sector continues its work with EU-based partners to drive the revisions of the Eco-Design Directive.

Europump, the European Association of Pump Manufacturers. Established in 1960, this influential body represents 16 national pump associations in 12 EU Member States as well as Russia, Switzerland, Turkey, and the UK.

Europump members represent more than 450 pump companies with a collective production value of more than €10 Billion and an employee base of some 100,000 people across Europe. As a founding member, the BPMA will continue to play a significant role in the Association’s activities, as much of the work undertaken will remain of relevance and importance to the UK.

One such area of activity relates to the EU’s ongoing revision of the Eco-Design Directive and its Implementing Measures, which are intended to facilitate a notable reduction in the energy used by a broad range of products and equipment; be they for domestic, commercial, or industrial applications.

In essence, the BPMA and its counterparts across Europe want to implement the extended product approach (EPA) for water pumps. This would mean that, in the energy use assessment terms required by the directive, not only should the actual pump be included, but also the associated electric motor and control system, which collectively comprise the entire pumping unit.

Interestingly, and by way of precedence, this approach has already been accepted in heating pumps.

Total life cycle cost counts

This proposed extended product approach would have a significant impact on energy efficiency. After China and the USA, the continent of Europe has the third largest electricity consumption in the world – around 3,300 terawatt-hours (TWh) per year. More than 300TWh of this is accounted for by electrically operated pumps. That is the equivalent to the generated output of 30 large coal-fired power plants.

The Eco-Design Directive aims to improve the environmental impact of energy-intensive products through optimal design. Europump has determined that water pumps can reduce electricity consumption by 35TWh from 137TWh a year. This would make it possible to shut down four coal-fired power stations. However, these enormous energy savings can only be achieved if the narrow ‘product approach’ is abandoned in favour of an ‘extended product approach’, with the aggregated savings being considered over the entire life-cycle of the product and its related system. 

Making the right climate protection decisions

Representations are ongoing, with the pump industry determined to encourage the legislators to move away from the existing product approach adopted in 2009 for water pumps.

Frank Ennenbach, Chairman of the Standards Commission at Europump, said: “We see a real danger that we will not save the 35TWh that we could. We will then miss the opportunity to make a major contribution to sustainability and climate protection. We have everything we need. The legislator just has to make the right decisions.” 

In concluding, the BPMA, along with all the member organisations within Europump, support the demand of pump manufacturers to move from the ‘narrow’ to the ‘extended’ product approach for water pumps – a key reason why we must remain aligned with the EU on the development of this important directive.



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