On the 6th April 2018, the UK government launched a scheme entitled Boiler Plus and its requirements are likely to affect boiler installers, landlords and homeowners alike. So, if you fall into any of these categories, read on to find out how the new legislation could impact you and what you have to do to ensure that you’re not breaking any of its rules.
What is Boiler Plus?
The Boiler Plus scheme was introduced by the Department for Business, Energy and Industry Strategy (BEIS) on the 6th April 2018 and has modified the requirements surrounding the manufacture and installation of oil and gas boilers within the UK. In a bid to improve the energy-efficiency standards of UK homes and combat climate change, the new legislation outlines the following legal requirements for all new installations:
1. All gas boilers must have a minimum performance standard of 92% ErP (Energy Related Products i.e. a product’s energy efficiency rating)
2. All gas and oil boilers must be fitted with time and temperature controls (i.e. programme timers and thermostats)
3. All new combi boiler installations must include one of the following:
(i) Flue Gas Heat Recovery System (FGHR) – This system is designed to reuse heat from your boiler that may otherwise have been wasted and lost in the atmosphere; potentially improving your boiler’s efficiency. According to Which? Studies have suggested FGHR systems have the ability to use up to 4% less gas.
(ii) Weather Compensation Devices – These gadgets are designed to allow your boiler system to read the outside’s temperature (through the use of a sensor) and adjust your heating accordingly.
(iii) Load Compensation Devices – These systems are designed to enable your boiler to adjust radiator temperatures to be hotter when your home is cold, and cooler when your home is closer to your desired temperature; potentially reducing fuel consumption.
(iv) Smart Thermostat – With these intelligent devices, you could have the power to control your household heating whilst you’re on the go, using your smartphone or tablet. They are also designed to allow you to set personalised schedules for your heating, potentially allowing you to reduce your energy wastage by enabling you to ensure that your central heating is only in use when needed.
As to be expected, these new requirements are likely to come at an additional cost. However, the government believe this can be justified by the potential savings that they could enable, as well as the positive impact that these regulations could have on the environment. Don’t hesitate to contact us if you’re in need of anymore information in relation to the requirements set out by the Boiler Plus Scheme, we’d be happy to help.
Why has Boiler Plus been created?
Boiler Plus has been set up by the government as a part of their Clean Growth Strategy which aims to both cut our greenhouse gas emissions and increase our national income. It has been estimated that over 2.5 billion of government funding has been put towards this strategy and schemes such as Boiler Plus and the Minimum Energy-Efficiency Standards (find more info here) were created to aid the government in reaching their goals.
According to Business and Energy Secretary, Greg Clark:
“This Government has put clean growth at the heart of its Industrial Strategy to increase productivity, boost people’s earning power and ensure Britain continues to lead the world in efforts to tackle climate change. “For the first time in a generation, the British government is leading the way on taking decisions on new nuclear, rolling out smart meters and investing in low carbon innovation. The world is moving from being powered by polluting fossil fuels to clean energy. It’s as big a change as the move from the age of steam to the age of oil and Britain is showing the way.”
What does this mean for the public?
According to Which?, nearing a third of the boilers on the market currently fall short of the 92% ErP requirement.
The government’s new legislation aims to put an end to the production and installation of these sub-standard boilers, seeking to ultimately combat climate change and provide homeowners with greater comfort and lower energy bills.
The new legislation will be a legal requirement and must be abided by - unless an individual is legally exempt. Here are some of the possible implications for breaching the new rules:
Installers –An installer found to breach the requirements of the new legislation could be prosecuted by Building Control. Safety concerns identified by the Gas Safe Register could also be referred to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). If you’re an installer and you are caught invoicing a customer for work presented as legally suitable but which falls short of the legal requirements, you could be labelled as committing fraud under Trading Standards.
Landlords within the Private Rented Sector (PRS)/Homeowners – If you knowingly allow non-compliant work to be carried out you could face prosecution and fines of up to £5,000.
How we could help
Here at HomeServe, all of the boilers that we install are A-rated for efficiency and manufactured by the leading brands within the industry (such as Worcester Bosch, Vaillant and Ideal). We also supply a variety of top of the range smart thermostats such as Netatmo and Nest, which are designed to provide customers like you with enhanced control over your central heating and potentially enable you to reduce your energy wastage.
Our team also aims to provide you with the help you need to ensure that your property is as energy-efficient as possible. So, if you’d like to discuss the new Boiler Plus Scheme in more detail and discover what you could do to enhance your home’s energy efficiency in line with the new requirements, feel free to contact us, we could provide you with the answers that you need.