What’s the deal with Boiler Plus?

Female gas engineer

In Boilers, Environment, Heating, Sustainability

If you are a heating engineer you won’t have missed the launch of Boiler Plus, but how much do your clients know about the new requirements? Changes to Part L of the Building Regulations came into force in England on Friday 6th April, in a bid to make home heating systems more energy efficient. To understand why and how, this blog is taking a look at the need for regulatory change, along with some of the key points of Boiler Plus.

Why change the Regulations?

According to the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology, the heat used for domestic, commercial and industrial purposes accounts for a third of UK greenhouse emissions. Of this, 50% comes from the domestic sector, 30% from the industrial sector and 20% from the commercial sector. When it comes to domestic heating needs, 98% of greenhouse gasses came from space and water heating with just 2% from cooking.

With the UK bound by agreements to hit targets around greenhouse gas emissions and renewables, it makes sense to focus in on one of the prime culprits when it comes to carbon footprint – the domestic gas boiler.

It should be mentioned that Part L has remained largely untouched since the introduction of condensing technology back in 2005. For many, the steps now being enforced have been seen as best practice for quite some time, with many installations pre-April 2018 already fully compliant. However, this is not the case across the board, especially in the case of older systems, so we should still see improvement in domestic energy efficiencies.

Key points:

  • The Regulations only apply to installations in England from 6th April 2018.
  • All domestic gas boilers installed must have a minimum ErP efficiency of 92%
  • Timers and room thermostats are an explicit requirement in ALL gas and oil system installations
  • When a gas combination boiler is installed, an additional energy efficiency measure will be required. The energy saving technologies that can be used to comply are either:
    • Flue gas heat recovery systems
    • Weather Compensation
    • Load Compensation
    • Smart controls featuring automation and optimisation functions.

Will all pre-April 2018 boilers need to be replaced?

No, these requirements only apply to new installations, or when the boiler is being replaced at the end of its working life. No one will be expected to change their boiler, just because new Regulations have come in.

Will boiler replacements be more expensive?

Yes, because boilers will need to have additional controls and in the case of gas combi boilers, a further energy efficiency measure (as listed above). However, the energy savings made running the new boiler will mean consumers will see the money back via savings on energy bills.

Where can I find out more information?

Boiler Plus FAQ pdf 

March/ April issue of CIPHE p&he journal

HHIC consumer guide to new legislation for boiler installations pdf

Boiler Plus flow chart pdf