The Government’s Clean Growth Strategy put forward the aim for as many homes in the UK as possible to reach Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) band C by 2035. The department for Business, Energy and Industry Strategy (BEIS) responded to this with the Boiler Plus regulations, which was legislated on the 6th of April 2018.
What decisions must you make if you get a new boiler?
Did you know that heating is often accountable for 55% of your home’s annual energy bill?
Therefore, it is important that any new boiler installed is energy efficient. New regulations dictate that when deciding on a new boiler, it is important that you choose one that has an Energy-related Products (ErP) rating of at least 92%. Installations that involve an oil or gas boiler require temperature and time controls.
Furthermore, it is essential that combi-boilers are installed with either Load Compensation, Weather Compensation or Flue Gas Heat Recovery (FGHR). It is also advised that smart controls are used so that your energy use can be assessed and controlled from your smartphone.
How do the additional energy saving measures work?
Load compensating thermostat: This device cunningly measures the internal temperature of your home and compares it to the temperature that has been set. It then moderates the amount of gas needed to heat your home and meet your desired temperature. This is a valuable method for those heating their home for a long duration.
Weather compensating thermostat: Weather compensation works by telling your boiler how much heat to produce based on the temperature outside. Together with an optimiser, it allows the boiler to start at just the right time and capacity to reach the required indoor temperature- only with minimal waste. Therefore, user comfort is maintained through increased efficiency.
Flue Gas Heat Recovery Systems: The amount of energy needed to heat up water in the home is reduced by recycling flue gases, which would usually be wasted, to preheat domestic hot water.
What happens if regulations are not complied with?
If these standards are not satisfied when a boiler is installed, such as in a situation when the minimum efficiency for the boiler was below the requirements, then building regulations will not be met. This could jeopardize an installer companies’ reputation, as Trading Standards would determine this act as fraud. Installer and homeowner alike are put at risk of being fined as much as £5,000.
A positive aspect of Boiler Plus regulations is that it allows control and choice over heating our homes. The intention is to provide efficiency and comfort and potentially save money on energy bills. The largest savings are made by the people who currently have the highest heating bills. It is also estimated that an annual saving of £652 could be made from switching from an old boiler to a modern gas condensing version. Could this be you?
For the near future, It remains unknown which combination of heat networks, hydrogen, bio-gas and heat pumps will prove to be the most efficient and cost-effective at scale and therefore the improvement in boiler regulations is a coherent step. Increasing efficiency of existing technology, whilst allowing capacity to adapt to any future changes involving lower carbon heating systems will be a valuable steppingstone toward NetZero.