As trade experts, you’ll know that heating controls are one of the most cost-effective ways to reduce fuel bills with minimal intervention in customers’ homes. Many boilers still use basic controls, so there is a clear need to encourage the heating industry to move more effective controls to help consumers cut their costs.
Considering climate change and rising energy costs, the UK Government has set out an ambitious target: to rapidly grow the heat pump market to 600,000 installations per year by 2028, up from 72,000 installations in 2022[i]. This means that by 2028, a third of all heating system installations will need to be heat pumps, with their share increasing further thereafter.
At Drayton by Schneider Electric, we recognise the vital role that we and the UK’s network of trade professionals play in ensuring customers can easily control their heating systems for comfort and cost reduction.
The Government’s Recent Consultation
The Government recently consulted on ‘improving boiler standards and efficiency’, addressing how home heating will need to change as the UK moves away from natural gas towards electricity. While the consultation is now closed and awaiting the Government’s response, the importance of policy changes and that of our submitted recommendations at Drayton by Schneider Electric have never been more evident.
The Importance of Heating Controls
We were pleased to see heating controls were recognised as an important part of the consultation. We remain hopeful that our response will significantly influence the industry’s direction, promoting more efficient heating and hot water systems.
Our Recommendations to Government Policy Makers
Our recommendations within the consultation response included:
- Class V controls should be mandated instead of Class VI to ensure energy and cost savings.
- Open protocols need to be mandated across the industry to promote consumer choice and savings.
- Auto balancing valves should be used for hydraulic balancing to save time and cost for both consumers and installers and to increase system efficiency.
- Ecodesign / ErP alone are not the best implementation route and we suggest that Part L needs to change.
We are committed to advocating with government and industry for these changes in future policies. This will not only secure the industry’s future but also empower consumers with diverse heating control options to maximise cost savings and improve home comfort. Our Wiser product range, for instance, can save consumers up to 30% a year on energy bills with a fully integrated smart system[i]. Ensuring policy is equitable for our industry is essential, particularly during a time of high energy costs and climate change challenges.
[i] UK Parliament. 2023. Heat Pumps. Available at: https://researchbriefings.files.parliament.uk/documents/POST-PN-0699/POST-PN-0699.pdf
[ii] Smart thermostat system percentage savings based on BEAMA and Salford university research statistics 2021. Energy mode savings based on Schneider Electric research on Wiser user data 2021. Energy consumption calculations based on Ofgem average total household fuel bill of £2,500 per year, October 2022. Heating and hot water estimated at 50% of total household fuel bill according to ‘Which?’ equating to £1,250 per year.
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