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The Improving boiler standards and efficiency consultation

On the 13th December the Government published a 4 month long consultation on improving English boiler standards and efficiency of heating systems. The consultation seeks views on a range of topics, including:​

  • Proposals to improve boiler and heating system efficiency through improvements to minimum standards
  • Proposals to mandate that from 2026 all newly installed gas boilers are ‘hydrogen-ready’
  • The potential role of gas boiler-electric heat pump hybrids in heat decarbonisation in the 2020s and 2030s

The proposals aim to reduce domestic gas consumption, thereby lowering consumer bills and carbon emissions, improving UK energy security, and preparing for the transition to low carbon heating.

This consultation continues in the same vein as previous regulatory improvements, including the introduction of the requirement for gas boilers to be condensing models from 2005 and the introduction of the Boiler Plus Standards in England in 2018.

What impact will this have on installers and manufacturers? 

Firstly, the Government is looking to reform controls standards by ensuring new gas boilers are sold and installed alongside Class VI gas boiler controls. Class VI controls are weather compensators and room sensors for use with modulating heaters, including gas boilers.  This definition allows for controls to include both weather and load compensation functionalities, or just controls with advanced weather compensation. This proposal will ensure a consistent base functionality for heating controls that will ensure they all can enhance boiler performance when in operation.

The great news for Drayton installers is that the Wiser System goes further than minimum recommended standards. Installers and customers can thus have peace of mind that not only does the Drayton Wiser System meet minimum requirements, but that it also provides comfort control and reduces running costs.

Further control recommendations include mandating Open protocols which allow controls and boilers produced by different manufacturers to communicate with each other to enable interoperability, which means any control products sold can be used with any boiler This is also great news for installers, meaning that your customers can make informed choices of the most appropriate product to control the heating system without being restricted by the boiler manufacturer.  As all Drayton controls are open protocol, installers can continue to install Drayton products regardless of the make and model of boiler.  

Further recommendations include

  • Considering how Flue Gas Heat Recovery can contribute to efficiency
  • Mandating a high modulation range(all domestic-scale gas combination boilers should be able to modulate to 10% of their maximum output without on/off cycling).
  • Boiler efficiency to raise minimum performance standards to 93% or 94%. 
  • All hot water storage cylinders to have a minimum efficiency rating of B. 
  • All gas boilers must be hydrogen ready by 2026
  • Making low temperature heating system training mandatory by incorporating it into Gas Safe Registration ACS Renewal assessments, and ensuring installers are suitably qualified to install hybrid heat pump systems.

Finally, one key area up for discussion is mandating hydronic balancing on commissioning of new systems, although historically this can be deemed as time consuming.   Drayton provides a range of auto balancing TRVs and our research shows customers can save around 8.8% on their fuel bills using these. Draytons Auto-balancing TRVs.

The closing date to respond is 21st March 2022. If you wish to respond please see the following link Improving boiler standards and efficiency - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

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