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A guide to saving energy and costs through the purchase of high performance energy efficient equipment

Introduction

The Energy Technology List (ETL) is a government approved list of approximately 10,000 energy efficient products. The ETL aims to encourage UK businesses to invest in high performance energy efficient equipment by reducing the financial and transactional costs associated with purchasing energy efficient products.

The ETL is a free-to-use list that provides organisations with the confidence that they are buying plant and machinery that demonstrates a high standard of energy efficiency. This is backed by regular, independent evaluations of the market across 16 separate technology categories, providing a benchmark for what currently represents top performance.

The ETL can be paired with accelerated tax relief, such as the Annual Investment Allowance (AIA). The AIA limit has been raised to £1 million until 1 January 2022, enabling businesses investing in new plant and machinery equipment to be able to claim through their AIA.

This guide explains how to use the ETL to identify energy efficient equipment.

Setting the bar for high energy efficiency performance

To be listed on the ETL, products must have been reviewed by the ETL team as meeting the energy efficient criteria of the scheme. This means that typically products fall within the top 25% of energy efficient equipment for that technology category in the UK market.

Building the business case for purchasing higher performing energy efficient equipment
 

Even where capital costs are higher – which is not always true – a solid business case often exists for investment in equipment that meets higher energy efficiency performance standards when you consider the total cost of ownership.

Improved levels of energy efficiency reduce operating costs and lower energy bills. These savings shorten the payback period for new equipment. Use of higher energy efficiency equipment also results in reduced carbon dioxide emissions, helping to combat climate change. 

 

Total cost of ownership

In business, it is often tempting to opt for equipment with the lowest purchase cost. However, the cost of buying equipment is just the start. For example, the energy costs across the lifetime of a motor can be up to ten times the purchase price of that motor.

Taking into account the energy use of equipment, as well as other future operating costs such as maintenance, or available tax incentives such as the AIA, will allow businesses to make fully informed decisions before investing and benefit over the long term from future energy and cost savings.

Using the Energy Technology List

Identifying energy efficient products can often be challenging. Purchasing businesses can be unsure of how to select from a wide range of available equipment choices, or confused by energy performance and sustainability information provided by their suppliers.

The ETL is a simple, free-to-use and straightforward way to identify higher performance energy efficient equipment. All ETL listed equipment has been verified by an independent assessor, based on the real assessment data, to demonstrate compliance with rigorous and demanding performance criteria.

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The ETL is periodically reviewed, with expected performance standards progressively getting raised as the standard of available equipment on the market improves. ETL equipment that no longer meets these higher standards is then removed from the list.

Products on the ETL fall within three groups of technology categories, which reflect the way that the market is evaluated and standards are set. These groups explain how products are listed on the ETL:

  • Listed ETL technologies: manufacturers must have products in these categories individually verified as meeting high energy efficiency performance standards.
  • “Unlisted” ETL technologies: products in these categories may not have been individually verified, but must meet specified standards that demonstrate high energy efficiency performance.
  • Combined heat and power (CHP): because energy efficiency is determined not just by equipment, but also design, a unique process is followed where systems must be validated through the government’s Combined Heat and Power Quality Assurance Programme (CHPQA).

How to find out if equipment meets ETL standards

Listed ETL technologies

Search the ETL website to see a full list of eligible equipment.

“Unlisted” ETL technologies

Businesses should seek confirmation from their supplier or installer that the equipment complies with ETL performance standards prior to purchase.

Combined heat and power (CHP) systems

The equipment & design must be assessed by the CHPQA & receive a certificate of energy efficiency.

Find out more about the ETL

Information for purchasers

Businesses with questions about the ETL should first visit the website at: https://etl.beis.gov.uk/

The ETL team can be contacted at ETLQuestions@carbontrust.com or on 0300 330 0657.

Information for manufacturers or suppliers

Manufacturers or suppliers wishing to list products on the ETL should visit https://etl.beis.gov.uk/engetl/fox/live/ETL_PUBLIC_PRODUCT_SEARCH and log in through the partner login section on the left hand side of the page. They can then continue to make a new product application, see Guidance Note 2: https://etl.beis.gov.uk/system/guides/etl-guidance-note-2-making-product-application-inclusion-energy-technology-list ​​​​​​