SEAI is reviewing and updating the criteria for the Triple E Register.

We previously introduced the roadmap for Triple E Register improvements. In this update, we would like to focus on the criteria update aspect and give you a better understanding of what we are working on and what might be expected of Triple E users. 

So, in this update, we explore: 

  1. What we’ve learned from our criteria review 
  2. How we are developing the future criteria 
  3. What do we need to do to activate new criteria 
  4. What the update process might be like in the future. 

What we’ve learnt from our criteria review

In 2021, we started our in-depth review of the register. We noted product numbers were over 30,000 at that point. On the one hand this was good (plenty of choice for our procurement users) but on the other hand it was indicative that a new phase of work had begun for us. 

In discussion with our registrant stakeholders (those who market and sell the products that appear on the register) we came across a recurring theme: 

Not all products on the register represented best-in-class energy efficiency. 

We had come across a mid-life growing pain. Products that were added to the register in the early days may not be as effective as what is available in the market now. The reason for this was that the criteria, our gatekeepers, had become outdated. 

This was (and is) a substantial piece of work that needs to be addressed and it has many moving parts. 

How we developed the criteria

The Triple E register is comprised of 10 categories of equipment. These help people make sense of the 52 technologies (sometimes with sub technologies) that are available for different purposes.  

We completed a review of these in three stages: 

  1. An initial review of equipment categories, technologies and eligibility criteria was undertaken by a panel of technical experts appointed by SEAI, and SEAI staff. This resulted in draft proposals for changes. 
  2. We engaged with Stakeholders regarding the proposed changes, with a particular focus on obtaining feedback from manufacturers and other industry stakeholders. 
  3. We reviewed the submissions and all evidence received during the stakeholder engagement phase. Following this, we published the revised and amended technologies and eligibility criteria. 

After completion of the review, we had 22 technologies where future criteria were drafted and reviewed by stakeholders, with feedback received and incorporated where possible. You can take a look here. As well as the proposed criteria, you will also find summaries of the changes. 

How can we activate the future criteria?

During the development of our future criteria, we commenced improvement initiatives in the existing Triple E platform. These highlighted a problem that had to be addressed before we could publish new criteria at scale – the old technology would not allow us to make such a large update whilst remaining manageable and in a meaningful timeframe. 

This resulted in a second strand of our work – developing a new Triple E platform. 

The IT platform that delivers Triple E products to the Irish market is sophisticated. It needs to be because it manages thousands of product applications and the associated quality checks each year across the 52 technology areas. It needs to be robust and fair too, able to store many thousands of supporting documents whilst making successful applications available to the public. 

So when will the future criteria come into use? 

Based on similar projects, this project could take between 1 and 2 years from conception to delivery. To firm up our estimate, we are currently working with our software provider on a business analysis phase and we hope to update our stakeholders as we confirm our requirements. 

A new criteria update process

An extra benefit of a new Triple E platform will be the ability to make faster, more flexible changes. One of these would be changing criteria on a programmed and ad-hoc basis. 

We are not there yet but we would like to design a regular criteria update around the following ideas: 

  • Our technical team reports on market advancements (what is the best efficiency, standards etc) on a regular basis. 
  • Stakeholder feedback in industry is sought and incorporated. 
  • Each technology is reviewed at a greater frequency against these developments through a process of drafting, public review, and final review. 
  • The product population in the register is adjusted to reflect new criteria. 

We expect this would be an 18-month cycle. Improvements identified in an individual technology outside this frequency could be managed ad-hoc. We are currently analysing the impact of this type of management. Preliminary findings are showing a strong reduction in the numbers of older and/or fast developing technologies. We’d like to further engage with registrants at this point to replace these products with contemporary product offerings more regularly.