U.K. Homeowners Eligible for Green Boiler Rating
October 25, 2007 // Published as a news service by IHS
Heating and hot water bills are the biggest energy costs households face each month, yet many people are unaware the average boiler is E rated and could produce over 50% more heat.
Making the recommended improvements could cut fuel bills by hundreds of pounds and reduce carbon emissions, according to the U.K. Communities and Local Government.
Only 20% of new gas boilers installed in 2003 were A or B rated. The government raised the energy performance standards for new and replacement central-heating boilers - 95% of new gas boilers installed now are A or B rated condensing boilers.
The energy assessment includes a checklist of efficiency improvements, for example:
- A family could save nearly £100 a year just by taking a few steps, such as getting a 75mm water cylinder jacket, installing heating controls and insulating the hot water pipes.
- Longer term measures, such as changing from a low G rated boiler to an A rated one could save more than £200 a year and cut up to 2.7 tonnes of carbon off a household's carbon footprint.
The government introduced free energy ratings for boilers in time for people to carry out their annual maintenance check before winter sets in, as part of its wider drive to help consumers make their homes more environmentally efficient.
According to the Heating and Hot Water Industry Council (HHIC) there are still around four million old, inefficient boilers in use in homes, most of which will still be operating in 2010. Replacing these would save 2.5 million tonnes of C02 each year by 2010, the government said.
"This new scheme will be a useful tool in highlighting to householders the importance of replacing their boiler with the most efficient models. Consumer safety would also be improved if householders were encouraged to replace their boiler as most incidents of CO poisoning are caused by old, poorly maintained appliances," said Roger Webb, HHIC director.
Most businesses have rising energy costs. The Carbon Trust estimates that hot water accounts for about 60% of total energy bills for commercial and industrial buildings.
In addition to the energy assessment rating for office heating systems, new guidance published will help facilities managers to think about how to monitor energy efficiency and streamline their energy expenditure.
For example, turning down heating by just 1ºC can save annual heating costs by as much as 8%. One company in Wales that employs 65 people recently reviewed its heating system and installed a new high efficiency boiler - it reduced its energy bill by 18%, the government said.
Four-year energy efficiency loans of up to £100,000 are available to eligible small and medium companies (SMEs) to help them make changes sooner. It is also possible to apply for tax relief via enhanced capital allowances - if a business invests in energy-saving machinery it can write off the whole cost of the equipment against taxable profits in the year of purchase.
The U.K. Communities and Local Government is committed to creating an eco town in every region by 2020, which could provide up to 200,000 additional eco-homes. Last year the government introduced the zero carbon standard, which must be met by eco-towns - most new zero carbons homes will also be exempt from stamp duty.
In addition, energy performance certificates (EPCs), which are being rolled out as part of Home Information Packs (HIPs), will now give people buying or selling their property an A-G energy rating for the whole home.
Additional information on the energy efficiency for boilers campaign is available on the U.K. Communities and Local Government web site at http://www.communities.gov.uk/boilers. Additional information on interest free energy efficiency loans is available at http://www.carbontrust.co.uk/loans.