The Eurovent Vice-President Henk Kranenberg, Senior Manager at Daikin NV, has more than 15 years of experience in the HVACR sector with great expertise in building environments. In our ‘The Board Perspective’ series, we obtained his view on the association’s current activities and challenges.
Henk is a long term Eurovent Board member, Chairman of the Product Groups ‘Air Conditioners’ (PG-AC) and ‘Liquid Chilling Packages and Heat Pumps’ (PG-LCP-HP), as well as Vice-Chairman of the Task Force ‘F-Gas’ (TF-FGAS). He obtained a master’s degree in business economics from Erasmus University in Rotterdam, Netherlands. With more than 30 years in industrial management, business development and operations management, he also has a knack for exploring renewable energy and energy efficiency and is furthermore committed to having a clean (energy) environment. That being said, Henk is a proud driver of an electric car. As part of our exclusive ‘The Board Perspective’ series, our Team asked him a few questions to obtain his point of view on the legislations that Eurovent is involved in and related challenges.
Eurovent’s core activity is to represent European HVACR manufacturers in the European legislative processes. What are, in your opinion, the most crucial policies that Eurovent is currently working on?
Yes, we are indeed keeping a close eye on the legislations and directives from the European Commission and try to advocate, when possible, to give voice to the European industry from small to large enterprises. Recently, the energy ministers adopted the Council’s negotiating positions on the Renewable Energy Directive and the Energy Efficiency Directive based on the compromise texts prepared by the French Presidency and Germany’s amendment on the Energy Efficiency Directive. The Energy Performance of Buildings directive is an important point of attention as it sets directives on how technical building systems will be used in buildings and how energy performance of products will be rated once a product is applied in a building. From net Zero Energy Buildings toward Zero Emission Buildings, will make it even more important to be able to give an unambiguous rating to the energy performance and life-time carbon emission of a product in a building.
On another issue, we await on the European Commission as it is drafting a new Delegated Regulation amending the current energy labelling rules on air conditioners, heat pumps and refrigerating appliances, including those used in retail. Then next is the review of the different lots in the Energy related Products regulations. Furthermore, we have been following up on the Ecodesign Sustainable Products Regulation. The European Parliament and Council of the EU have set their first timeline milestones in the legislative process on the Ecodesign Sustainable Products Regulation file and how the work might be split among the European Parliament Committees. And last but not least, the recast of the F-Gas legislation makes the industry worried in view of the whole energy transition in Europe. Proposals have been made seriously endangering the RePowerEU ambitions and the Fit for 55 targets.
What do you think are the main challenges of Eurovent in relation with issues of the EU policies?
The European Green Deal is of great concern for the HVACR industry, and sustainable heating and cooling have a major role to play in decarbonisation of our society. It is of utmost importance that the HVACR sector adapts and be in conjunction with the European Union’s goal to become the first climate – neutral continent by the year 2050. The Eurovent Product Groups ‘Air Conditioners’ and ‘Liquid Chilling Packages and Heat Pumps’ are working in the development of sound European policies and standards in support of the climate-neutrality vision. A main challenge is to find an achievable mix out of different regulations affecting the industry at the same time as i.e. Ecodesign changes, proposals in other test methods, F-Gas legislation. As an industry association it is our obligation to demonstrate to decision makers not to make any so-called ‘Pound foolish, Penny wise’ decisions harming the targets set by the EU commission and being in conflict with other concerns in our society like affordability and safety.
Another challenge is the deliverance of adequate indoor air quality in buildings. COVID-19 has proved to us that we need efficient ventilation systems in our residential buildings for healthy indoor environments as well as regular maintenance on building systems to deliver comfort. We are working to bring the attention of policy makers in order for them to be aware of the importance of bringing people’s health and wellbeing at the centre of the EU built environment. Eurovent is working hard on strengthening Indoor Environmental Quality as it is also becoming one of our roles to inform the public on the value of combining energy efficient heating and cooling systems with efficient ventilation systems as a means of favourable indoor environments.