EHPA secretary general shares his experience of the HP KEYMARK scheme: an interview with Thomas Nowak

Thomas Nowak is the secretary general of the European Heat Pump Association (EHPA).

1) How the Heat Pump KEYMARK can fulfil its objectives in ensuring the highest quality products in the marketplace?

The CEN HEATPUMP KEYMARK is living up to the expectations of market players. It applies a systematic concept of quality to all heat pump types certified. Not only is each type tested at the start of certification, but manufacturers have also to undergo a factory production audit for each production site and have to provide relevant documentation for their quality systems.

2) What is the main difference between the Heat Pump KEYMARK and other heat pump certifications?

The HP KEYMARK is an independent certification scheme compliant with the requirements of ISO Type 5. While other scheme follows a “test all” approach, the heat pump KEYMARK has also a systematic quality understanding that constitutes of an initial performance assessment and regular re-tests as well as factory production controls. Performance tests are executed by third party testing labs based on the requirements of Ecodesign. Factory inspections are executed by independent auditors and ongoing product and production monitoring is performed.

3) What are the main benefits that the Heat Pump KEYMARK can provide to the industry and end-consumers?

Around 2013 manufacturers started to realize that the requirements for receiving subsidies for heat pumps had become increasingly diverse. Instead of referring to common standards, governments operating subsidy schemes had developed their own rules. Even small variations lead to the need for costly re-testing or additional factory production audits. It was perceived that this approach provided a tremendous administrative burden without additional benefit for quality. The Heat Pump KEYMARK was developed, in fact, with the aim of fulfilling quality requirements based on a single approach, answering to the requests by industry and governments alike. It is built on the CEN/CENELEC KEYMARK scheme of certification and has inherited the good reputation of this scheme.

4) What is your vision for the future of the heat pump technology and what role the Heat Pump KEYMARK will play in achieving that vision?

The heat pump market has been extremely successful in the past few years, and if this growth continues, the resulting economies of scale will make heat pump technology even more competitive. With the current growth, industry must keep a very close eye on quality to avoid that market players looking only at quick profits pose a risk to the positive recognition heat pumps have received in the market place. The HP Keymark can contribute to this goal. By offering a single certificate for a single European market and being at the same time independent from industry, it provides a robust tool to ensure quality.