In September 2015, a new law is due to come into effect that will have a large impact on the boiler industry. This piece of European Union legislation is called the Energy-related Products Directive and is aimed at reducing carbon emissions by 34% by 2020 and then by 80% by 2050.
The ErP Directive sets out a minimum standard of requirements for the efficiency of heating and hot water systems. Manufacturers must adhere to eco-design and energy labelling standards on their products with the aim of hitting the 2020 and 2050 emissions targets. After September 2015, manufacturers will no longer be able to produce products that do not meet the minimum energy efficiency standards.
It is strongly hoped that the new Directive will truly lead to change in the building and heating industries and encourage consumers to opt for the most efficient boilers. A new energy labelling system will come into effect to make it easier for customers to compare the efficiency of products. White goods, like refrigerators, already have a clear and recognised efficiency comparison system, and the new policy will bring heating products in line with that.
Heating manufacturers have long recognised the need for more efficient products and have already been working hard to implement measures that reduce carbon emissions and help customers reduce their heating costs.
Much innovation has been seen in the area of boiler modulation and development will likely continue over the next few years. Boiler modulation is basically the ability of a boiler to reduce its maximum output to its minimum output, so a boiler with a wide output ratio (30kW max - 3kW min - 10:1) is preferable to a boiler with a narrower output ratio (30kW max - 7.7kW min - 4:1). In laymans terms, this all means that the industry is working hard to improve boiler efficiency and the longevity of its components, which in turn improves comfort levels, lowers heating bills and increases reliability.
Great leaps forward have also be made with smart temperature controls and this has led to householders having a much greater degree of control over their heating systems. Linking a boiler to intelligent thermostat control provides the ability to make huge increases in energy efficiency savings and we expect this technology to continue to develop and improve.
So with the new Energy-related Products Directive coming, the heating industry seems well-prepared to deal with the resulting changes. This can only be a good thing for business, consumers and the environment.
Article by Benjamin Clarke