Boiler Plus legislation has been in place since April 2018. It includes a range of measures designed to improve energy efficiency in domestic boilers, with the ultimate target of reducing carbon emissions from domestic heating in the UK. If you install boilers as part of your business, you need to ensure that you are complying with the new regulation.

Boiler Plus is part of the government’s Clean Growth Strategy. Part of the strategy is designed to improve energy efficiency within private households and privately rented homes. Installing energy-efficient boilers and additional means for customers to control their heating effectively is one way to achieve this.

Check the Which? guidance on Best Buy boilers, or read on for more details on how to be compliant with Boiler Plus.

Regulation changes in Boiler Plus

All boiler installers must ensure that they install boilers that meet the new standards required by Boiler Plus. There is no requirement to retrofit existing boilers – the regulation only applies to the initial installation or replacement of a boiler.

The standards are:

  • Any boiler installed must have an energy-performance rating of at least 92% on its product label. Prior to the regulation change, Which? identified that more than a third of boilers on the market that wouldn’t have met the required standards.
  • All new gas and oil boilers must have a program timer and a thermostat to allow customers to control their heating effectively.

In addition, all gas-combi boilers must include at least one additional energy-efficiency mechanism. The different options are included to take account of the needs of differing households and the types of houses that installers need to work with.

You must install one of the following with each gas-combi boiler:

  • A weather-compensation thermostat: this adjusts the heating levels according to readings from a sensor that measures the outside temperature.
  • A load-compensation thermostat: this measures the response of the heating system and adjusts the flow temperature based on what’s needed, to reduce consumption – ie it works harder when the temperature drops, and reduces flow when it’s warmer.
  • Flue-gas heat recovery: this system recycles heat from the flue gases – studies suggest that these systems can use up to 4% less gas, and modern boilers often already have one built in.
  • Smart controls: these allow customers to control their heating through a tablet or smartphone. They can offer a degree of automation for heating output, depending on how many people there are in the building, and optimise the system to regulate how much work it needs to do.

We look at some of these measures in our article on modernising heating controls and improving boiler efficiency.

Why do I need to comply?

The new Boiler Plus regulation is a legislative change – meaning it now forms part of law. Installers must follow the regulation in the same way as any other building regulation. Non-compliant boilers might be cheaper, but it’s no longer legal to install them, and homeowners who knowingly allow a non-compliant installation could face prosecution.

As the installer, failure to comply with the regulation could result in:

  • action by local-authority Building Control – it won’t be possible to get sign-off on a non-compliant installation
  • a referral to the Health and Safety Executive by Gas Safe
  • action from trading standards
  • a civil prosecution from householders.

The Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy has produced the following decision tree to help ensure that you’re compliant every time you install a new boiler.

More on this…