It’s estimated that 30% of the UK’s total energy use comes from heating and powering buildings, generating a large proportion of the UK’s carbon emissions and negatively impacting climate change.
In response, the Government introduced the Future Homes Standard (FHS) to tackle emissions from new homes in England, which aims to ensure all new homes built from 2025 are zero-carbon ready.
The Government recently released long-awaited technical consultations on the Future Homes and Building Standards, and the Home Energy Model (HEM) which includes an overhaul to previous versions of the Standard Assessment Procedure (SAP).
What is the Future Homes Standard (FHS)?
The Future Homes Standard (FHS) is a key Standard to improve the energy efficiency of new homes, future-proofing them with low carbon heating systems and improving efficiencies.
What is Zero-carbon Ready?
A home that’s zero-carbon ready produces 75-80% less carbon emissions when compared with homes built under the current Building Regulation standardsi.
What is the Home Energy Model (HEM)?
A new methodology proposed to replace SAP for calculating the energy performance of homes. Heating controls are not currently explicitly modelled within SAP, with the HEM model looking to improve the way they’re scored, such as the recognition of heating controls that:
- Model each timestep using control schedule
- Define whether a system is on or off
- Define setpoint and setback temperatures and advanced start periods
- Multiple controls
What Does This Mean for Heating Controls?
The Future Homes and Buildings Standards consultation proposes changes to Part 6, Part L and Part F of the Building Regulations for dwellings and non-domestic buildings. Changes relating to heating controls include compulsory installations of thermostatic room controls in each room when a heating system is replaced, utilising zoning. This means the use of both room and radiator thermostats.
Together with the HEM to better calculate home energy performance, these elements improve on the SAP methodology, however smart controls – a crucial technology to enable cost and carbon savings – specifically have not been recognised within the consultation.
What More Needs to be Done?
Drayton, and many brands in the industry, would like to see individualised manufacturer scoring within SAP, soon to be HEM, for smart thermostats. Smart technologies should be built into the new system, simulating energy performance for each half-hour of the day, compared to each month for SAP.
How Are We Responding?
Drayton by Schneider Electric are responding to these consultations in order to highlight the key role of heating controls within the FHS and HEM. We want to see greater recognition of heating controls and especially smart heating controls within these changes, to put greater emphasis on their benefits such as energy saving and short payback periods compared to other low carbon technologies such as heat pumps.
Installing our Wiser smart thermostat can save individuals up to 18%ii on their energy use thanks to efficient time and temperature schedulingiii via the Wiser Home app.
Heating and powering buildings accounts for 30% of the UK’s total energy usageiiii, so decarbonising and reducing energy use via heating controls will play a key role in achieving net zero targets through government policies such as the FHS.
Read the consultations in full below:
- The Future Homes and Buildings Standards: 2023 consultation
- Home Energy Model: replacement for the Standard Assessment Procedure (SAP)
- Home Energy Model: Future Homes Standard assessment
iiSmart thermostat system percentage savings based on BEAMA and Salford university research statistics 2021. Savings are a guideline and will vary based on your home's thermal performance.
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