With last month having marked the implementation of the new Energy-related Products (ErP) Directive, Martyn Bridges, Director of Marketing and Technical Support at Worcester, Bosch Group, explains what builders need to know
“The ErP Directive is a new legislation set by the European Union, designed to ensure that minimum primary and secondary levels of efficiency and emissions are met. Through the regulations, end users will be made aware of the level of energy efficiency inherent within their heating systems and help them to make educated choices when deciding on any new equipment.
“Although this will not necessarily result the in the need for direct action from those within the building trade, there are a number of things anyone looking to build or renovate and then sell on a property should take into consideration.
Ready and label
“The directive has introduced the need for heating engineers to provide product labels detailing the energy efficiency information when installing boilers, combination boilers, water heaters and other heating products up to 70kW and hot water cylinders under 2,000 litres.
“There is also a responsibility to provide a package label when combining a heating appliance with a temperature control and/or solar device, cylinder or a supplementary heating appliance. In both instances, the person who puts together that package and hands it over to the homeowner will need to create a label that provides the combined energy efficiency rating, rather than ratings for each individual component.
“However, while it is the heating engineer who is responsible for providing the product or package label to their customers, it is likely that boiler manufacturers and merchants are very likely to have Energy label creation tools on their websites.
A plus for heating efficiency
“The new Energy Labelling Directive will also introduce new efficiency classes, from A+++ to G with an A rating being the maximum achievable for a gas or oil-fired condensing boiler alone.
“The directive also recognises controls and the efficiency improvements they can make to the heating system. Controls are defined using ‘classes’ running from Class I (a simple on/off room thermostat) through to Class VIII (multi-sensor room control for use with modulating heating appliances). Each control class equates to a certain percentage uplift in system efficiency.
“In order for a heating system to achieve an even higher rating than this, additional products, such as solar water heating, will be needed to supplement the boiler. Recently however, the European Commission’s decision to award an uplift of four percent in efficiency for the addition of combined weather and load compensation control to a system means that it is much easier for those looking to equip homes with an A+ heating system to achieve the ninety-eight percent efficiency level required.
“For example, installing a combi boiler with a ninety-four per cent efficiency rating, such as one of Worcester’s Greenstar i, Si or CDi Compact boilers, with a Wave Internet-connected Smart Thermostat provides the necessary four per cent increase in efficiency needed to attain A+ status.
Buying for the future
“Since 1st August this year, the manufacturer of a combi boiler, or indeed any boiler with a pump in it, has been unable to add any further non-ErP compliant products to the distribution chain – meaning that if the product contains an in-built circulating pump, it must be of a low energy type.
“Many manufacturers will be preparing for this already, by making sure their products comply with the regulations as soon as possible, and at Worcester, we have stated that whilst there may be some non-ErP products still in the distribution chain, every product which has left our warehouse from the 1st May onwards has been ErP-ready and compliant. However, with it likely that over the coming months there will some non-ErP products being sold off, those investing in new heating and hot water would be well-advised to make sure what they are buying is future-proofed and ErP-compliant.
“While all of this may at first sound alien, it is a transition through which those both inside and outside the industry will be supported by manufacturers. Worcester held its very own dedicated ErP week in June, which saw thousands of visitors pose their own questions about the new legislation via the Worcester website and on our social media platforms, and we are still helping those looking for further support and guidance through those channels on a daily basis.
“One thing I’d remind anyone in the building industry of in particular, is that possessing an appliance or system label will provide them with a simple sales tool which can be used by those looking to sell a property to demonstrate how efficient its boiler or system will be in comparison to an older one, and thus how much money can be saved on energy bills over the long term.”