SEAI market surveillance campaign of electric motors and water pumps finds non-compliances with EU regulations

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he Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) has published reports from a market surveillance campaign of electric motors and water pumps available in Ireland and Europe. Several products were found to be non-compliant with EU Ecodesign and Energy Labelling Regulations in areas such as their Declaration of Conformity and Technical Documentation. SEAI conducted the research on behalf of the Market Surveillance Authority, a role to which SEAI was ultimately appointed under statute in December 2022.

Ecodesign and Energy Labelling are important EU policies which help improve the energy efficiency of products, reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Setting minimum energy efficiency requirements, effectively eliminates less efficient products from the market and manufacturers are encouraged to innovate. They also ensure that end users have useful information about the energy efficiency of products to inform their purchases. The regulations cover domestic, commercial, and industrial products including lighting, heating, ventilation, appliances, consumer electronics, motors, transformers, and water pumps.

Tim Stokes, SEAI’s Market Surveillance Programme Manager commented: “Market surveillance helps business, consumers, and environment. It ensures a level playing field for compliant businesses, by getting manufacturers to bring non-compliant products up to standard or by having non-compliant products removed from the market. It protects consumers and the environment by ensuring compliance with the EU Ecodesign and Energy Labelling regulations. With a national effort towards a more energy conscious Ireland, it’s extremely important that we ensure high levels of compliance on the Irish market and contribute to effective market surveillance across the EU.”

As the Market Surveillance Authority, SEAI checks the compliance of products on the market and addresses non-compliances when identified. SEAI also provides guidance and advice to businesses with a view to preventing non-compliance. Where businesses fail to take proper action to address non-compliances, SEAI can take enforcement actions up to and including instigating prosecutions in the case of serious breaches of the regulations.

“We are pleased to report that, in most instances, the non-compliances identified through this campaign have already been rectified. However, there is still a small number of manufacturers yet to fully prove compliance with the respective regulation. For these manufacturers, SEAI has engaged with the Market Surveillance Authorities for the respective countries where the manufacturers are based and informed them of our findings. This is testimony to the collaborative nature of our activities across EU member states, leveraging a wider network or resources, to ensure best outcomes for consumers.”

The motors and pumps selected for assessment from several sources including retailers’ and manufacturers’ websites. SEAI used a risk-based approach to select products, focussing on products with the greatest market penetration, budget brands, and new market entrants. The findings included:

  • Of 14 electric motor products subjected to formal compliance assessment, non-compliances were found in nine (64%) cases. The main source of formal non-compliance was in the provision of product information.
  • Of the 13 water pump products for which technical documentation was sought, 12 formal non-compliances were found. The main source of formal non-compliance was in relation to missing technical documentation files or incomplete product information requirements (12 cases) and with the Declarations of Conformity (8 cases).
  • The full reports are available to view here: Ecodesign | Energy Ratings | SEAI