From 6th April 2018, the Boiler Plus legislation will be put in place by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and will affect all residential installations. Are you up to speed with the new regulations?

In an attempt to improve efficiency measures and encourage homeowners to steer clear of like-for-like replacements, Boiler Plus is intended to improve the comfort of UK homes whilst also lowering energy bills and carbon emissions. From 6th April all boilers will be required to have an efficiency level of at least 92% and gas and oil installations must have time and temperature controls.

Combi boilers, which make up 80% of the current market, are required to have one of the following four attachments, which should be discussed with the homeowner so that they can choose which they would prefer.

Here are the options:

  • A weather compensation device – relatively inexpensive, this product monitors the outside temperature and weather conditions in order to manage the temperature within the home, avoiding a sudden drop or rise. As a result, both comfort and efficiency are improved.
  • A load compensation device – a thermostat with load compensation will adjust the temperature of the radiators according to the interior temperature. By maintaining a more consistent temperature within the home, less energy is used. It also reduces wear and tear on the boiler because it doesn’t have to fire up as frequently, instead it can run on a lower output over a longer period.
  • A smart control – Wi-Fi orientated, these can be used to activate and control the heating through an App via a smart phone, tablet or computer, giving the homeowner flexibility. There are currently a wide range of smart controls available, however, to meet Boiler Plus guidelines your smart control must have either an optimisation feature (whereby the heating will only come on long enough to reach the target temperature), or an automation feature (which recognises when the occupants leave and return home, adjusting the heating accordingly).
  • Flue gas heat recovery device – this product recovers heat from flue gases and uses them to pre-heat the incoming mains water. This means the boiler doesn’t have to work as hard and hot water is delivered to the taps quicker and more efficiently. While it is the most expensive out of all the options in terms of initial outlay, this has the biggest potential for yearly savings on bills.

Failing to meet these regulations could result in the installer being prosecuted by Building Control and so it is important that these changes are understood and can be easily explained to customers. Manufacturers should be informing their installers of these changes and we are making sure to cover it in our training courses this year. Alpha will also be offering new packages to buyers that will include a combi boiler as well one of the specified measures, with all parts under warranty.