A Campaign to Deliver Efficient Gas Heating for Domestic Consumers

Challenge & Vision

With the UK being one of the biggest domestic boiler markets globally with a circa 1.6m sold annually, the benefits of improving the performance of gas boilers are significant in terms of reducing emissions from domestic heating and consumer bills. It is also key to pave the way for the range of low carbon heating systems.

The key legislation that delivers improvements to the performance of gas driven heating systems is the Building Regulations, through Part L and the accompanying Installer Guidance. Building Regulations reviews are intermittent and thus important for the industry. Past reviews had focused on mandating minimum efficiency standards for gas boilers but not solutions that help a gas heating system to operate optimally in real terms. Further improvements in boiler efficiency would be welcome but real change would come only through a whole heating system approach.

Ecuity worked with a challenger boiler manufacturer to raise awareness of the opportunity of pursuing a whole heating system approach to improve real efficiency of domestic gas boiler applications.

The policy vision required incremental changes to the regulations to promote cost effective technology that allows a heating system to operate optimally (e.g. weather compensation) and the proliferation of installation best practice.

Approach

Ecuity developed a policy vision report which costed the opportunity and set out specific policy changes that would have to be implemented on behalf of the challenger boiler manufacturer. That was shared with policy makers that bought into the recommendations thus allowing to set the policy agenda.

Thereafter, Ecuity worked with the challenger boiler manufacturer and a range of other clients to sustain traction over the policy process on the back of pressure from entrenched interests.

Outcome & Positive Change

The campaign led to a consultation in 2016 on improving domestic heating efficiency which culminated into the introduction of a ‘boiler plus’ policy in April 2018.

Boiler plus mandated an increase of minimum gas boiler efficiency as well as a choice from a range of technology options, including weather and load compensation, to improve real heating system efficiency. That will certainly lead to major carbon and bill reductions in UK homes.

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