The Ecodesign Preparatory Study on “smart” appliances has been publishing reports as it completes its analyses of the potential for regulation in respect of interconnected appliances.
Task 5 looked at a base case scenario for savings in 2014, 2020 and 2030. Task 6 then identified those categories of appliances with the greatest potential for savings: those they termed “periodical” appliances (such as washing machines, dishwashers, and dryers) and those they refer to as “energy storing” (fridge freezers and storage water heaters).
The draft reports are now up on the project website. The researchers have assumed zero penetration in 2014 rising to 5% of the second category being “smart enabled” by 2020 and 20% by 2030. And while 2% of tumble dryers are expected to be smart by 2020 and 16% by 2030, only 4% of washing machines are expected to be smart by 2030.
Among the categories of interest to AMDEA members, the most savings per year are estimated to be for dishwashers and the least for refrigeration products, possibly because the latter are already thermostatically controlled so the scope for any additional “smartness” in respect of energy would be responding to grid frequency fluctuations.
Task 7 is looking at the policy options and a presentation in May suggested that the recommendations would be for Ecodesign requirements for appliances in scope to become DSF capable/interoperable with set criteria for what this would mean for appliances marketed as such. They would also impose maximum energy consumption for any smart features as well as information requirements.
However, we do still seem to be some way from a clear definition of what “smart” would mean, never mind a repeatable and reproducible measurement method.