Boiler Plus

In April this year, the new Boiler Plus legislation will come into effect. It is launched by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and aims to improve the way people use energy within their homes. But what exactly is Boiler Plus? 

The Boiler Plus legislation aims to give consumers more control over their energy bills by making it easier to reduce energy bills. It also aims to get rid of poorly performing products in a bid to help achieve the EU’s 2020 target of reducing carbon emissions across Europe. To deliver this, the heat sector needs to reduce its carbon emissions significantly, as it currently contributes to 19% of final UK greenhouse gas emissions. 

This legislation wants to raise the bar for both manufacturers and installers and requires the new minimum performance standard for domestic gas boilers in England to have an efficiency level of 92% ErP at least.

So, what are the Boiler Plus requirements? 

By their own admission, BEIS wants the UK to maintain it’s position as the global leader in the gas boiler market. It believes this can be done by introducing the Boiler Plus standards, which include:

  • All Gas Boilers in existing systems in England have to meet an ErP efficiency of at least 92% 
  • Timers and thermostats are a requirement in all gas and oil systems and should be installed at the same time as the boiler
  • All new fitted combination boilers should include either a flue gas heat recovery system, weather compensation, load compensation or smart controls 
Here’s a bit more information about the additional energy efficiency systems needed in combination boilers:

Load Compensation – a boiler control which adjusts the temperature of the water which heats your radiators. The temperature will be regulated accordingly depending on the temperature of the room.

Weather Compensation – this system monitors the weather outside using a sensor and adjusts the heating temperature of the radiators depending on the temperature outside. 

Flue Gas Heat Recovery Device – connecting to the flue outlet, this unit uses a heat exchanger to extract leftover energy from the waste flue gases. This energy then warms the cold water in the combination boiler and reduces the amount of gas needed to increase the temperature. 

Smart Controls with Automation and Optimisation – a smart thermostat allows the heating to control itself depending on a variety of factors. It can be paired with electronic thermostatic radiator valves and can even divide a home into different heating zones. 

Only one of these additional energy efficiency options need to be installed alongside a new/replacement combination boiler to comply with the Boiler Plus legislation.

The new Boiler Plus standards will only affect those installing new boilers or replacing an old boiler. If you have an old boiler, there is no requirement for you to replace your existing boiler, but if you do the BEIS wants to ensure you can be confident that you are ‘investing in an efficient product that will keep [your] bills as low as possible’. 

What do installers need to do? 

Before the Boiler Plus legislation becomes law, installers need to ensure they understand exactly what the scheme entails and work by the standards listed. 

If installers and homeowners do not comply with the Boiler Plus requirements once the legislation is launched in April 2018, they will be breaking the law and could face prosecution. This will be enforced by Building Control and any safety concerns can be raised to the HSE. Furthermore, homeowners who knowingly allow non-compliant work to be carried out could face a charge of up to £5000

It is important to discuss Boiler Plus with your customers prior to installation even if this is before April 2018. Customers may not want to miss out on an energy efficient boiler by just a couple of weeks. The initial installation cost may be slightly higher, but the BEIS believes this can be ‘met with a one-off payment as little as £50’ and can be ‘made back through the savings in bills’.   

To find out more information about the Boiler Plus legislation, you can read the full Boiler Plus Policy Document and the Boiler Plus FAQs here. 
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