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Major gains with energy-efficient mixer taps

Energy-efficient mixer taps can reduce domestic hot water consumption by almost thirty percent. Something that saves water, energy and money. However, it is important that the manufacturer can show that this holds true. RISE has helped Gustavsberg to certify the energy efficiency of two series of mixer taps, giving Gustavsberg major competitive advantages. 

At a time when both water and energy are in short supply, any way to save either is of great interest, to property owners both large and small. 

“Many people consider replacing windows or adding more insulation to save money, but replacing a mixer tap is often both easier and cheaper than many other measures. What’s more, it offers a very short return on investment,” says Mattias Virsgård, who works with business development and sustainability at Gustavsberg. 

Tap water behind a fifth of energy consumption 

The company’s customer base includes many large property management companies, and already in the 1990s Gustavsberg began developing patents to ensure that its mixer taps used less energy and water. In a typical apartment building, tap water accounts for a fifth of energy consumption, and if older mixer taps are installed, switching to energy-labelled models can reduce hot water consumption by almost thirty percent. 

“And that’s with the same standard of comfort,” Virsgård underlines. 

“There’s no point simply reducing the water flow. Instead, an energy-efficient mixer tap should feel just like a regular mixer tap. We conduct countless field tests, especially among people with long and thick hair, so that we can guarantee an equivalent shower experience.” 

These internal tests are all well and good, but to prove that what Gustavsberg says about these products holds true, they have chosen to let RISE certify their mixer taps for compliance with the Swedish standard for energy-efficient mixer taps. This standard was developed in 2010 and is intended to enable customers, whether private or corporate, to easily compare different mixer taps. 

“The final energy label looks just like those on a new cooker or fridge, with a scale from A to F where A is the best and F is the worst,” says Anders Hjörnhede, a unit manager at RISE. 

If we’ve certified a product, the end customer can rest assured that its quality is guaranteed

Certification offers great advantages 

As product development moves fast, standards for various types of mixer taps have been issued over the years, the most recent in 2020. Moreover, both RISE and Gustavsberg see great advantages in certifying mixer taps. 

“If we’ve certified a product, the end customer can rest assured that its quality is guaranteed. We’re accredited to both test and certify, and since we’re independent, an opinion from us carries more weight in a market context than the manufacturer simply making a claim of its own,” Hjörnhede explains. 

Markus Barkstedt, who works with certification matters at Gustavsberg, echoes this opinion. He also points out that efforts to ensure certification deliver benefits already during product development. 

“We always have preliminary meetings with RISE prior to a certification process. They offer us their professional opinion on not only how certification should be undertaken in Sweden, but also which tests should be done so that we can certify the products in other countries as well. This way, we save both time and money.” 

Greatly increased interest 

And the future of products with energy efficiency labels looks incredibly bright. Gustavsberg has seen greatly increased interest in this type of mixer tap in recent years and is now developing even more products with energy efficiency labels.  

“Increasingly more property management companies are now realising what a profitable investment this is. And for us, being able to show that our products are certified has been a competitive advantage. What’s more, it’s also nice knowing that our products help reduce energy and water consumption at the end-user stage, as this is where by far the greatest environmental impact takes place,” Virsgård ends.