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HPM November 2015

Got a story? Ring us on 01732 748041 or e-mail twood@unity-media.com BOILERS:LIGHTCOMMERCIAL Getting to grips with designer labels Andrew Dabin, product manager for Keston Boilers, looks at the opportunities available to installers prepared to embrace the new requirements expected of them as a result of the Energy related Products Directive and how they can maximise the business opportunties this legislation will bring... With new industry changes there often comes fresh business opportunities, and the introduction of the Energy Labelling Directive is no exception. Although change comes hand in hand with new challenges, those who are open to it can find that industry developments offer an excellent opportunity to share knowledge and strengthen relationships, between both customers and with manufacturers, which can only be beneficial for business in the long-term. Just to recap, the Energy Labelling Directive is just one part of the Energy related Products (ErP) Directive, which is seen by the EU as the most important initiative it has ever introduced to improve energy efficiency across Europe. The new legislation, which will be mandatory across all 28 countries within the EU, primarily aims to minimise the amount of fuel or power used by energy-related products throughout their entire life cycle, as well as reducing any environmental impact as a result of materials used, etc. INSTALLATION AND OPERATION There are two complimentary parts to the Directive that are designed to cover the product from the design stage through to its installation and operation in practice. The first part is Ecodesign, which is more relevant to manufacturers, but is useful for installers to be aware of. This establishes the performance requirements for all energy using appliances, from boilers to television sets. Under the new requirements, boilers with outputs up to 70kW must achieve a minimum of 86% seasonal energy efficiency, whereas boilers from 70 to 400kW must offer a minimum of 94% efficiency at 30% output. Although leading manufacturers will still support existing non-compliant appliances through their spares programmes over the coming years, after September 26 installers can only install non-compliant boilers while stocks last at merchants. The second half of the Directive, and one that directly affects installers, is the Energy Labelling Directive. In relation to boilers specifically, appliances up to 70kW must be supplied with an energy label that will classify the boiler with an efficiency band from G (low efficiency) up to A+++ (highest efficiency). This standardised table of information will enable installers and consumers to see at a glance which products offer the highest efficiency levels, translating to obvious cost savings. It is WWW.HPMMAG.COM the manufacturer’s responsibility to ensure individual products have compliant energy labelling. However, it is then over to the installer who will need to calculate the whole system efficiency figure based on the different components of the system, such as the boilers, controls and any renewable energies, such as solar thermal or heat pumps used. The installer will then be responsible for completing what is known as a ‘product fiche’, which is a document that shows the efficiency of the entire system in depth. The package label can be produced via the manufacturer’s website and some manufacturers even offer a dedicated app to further simplify the label creation process. IDENTIFYING THE BENEFITS The thought of additional paperwork is not necessarily an appealing one, however, another way of looking at the introduction of the new labelling legislation is that the effectiveness of high performing products, like condensing boilers and controls, can be clearly proved using the types of energy labels that consumers will already be familiar with, as they have been used for some time on domestic white goods. This can make it easier to persuade homeowners to consider purchasing other heating products, such as advanced controls, beyond those that are already required under Part L of the Building Regulations, and technologies such as solar thermal that will minimise their fuel bills while simultaneously growing the installer’s business and reputation. However, although it will be clear which boiler models are the most efficient, customers will still need to rely on the installer’s specialist knowledge to make decisions about product 78 NOVEMBER 2015 HEATING & PLUMBING MONTHLY selection to ensure the whole system’s efficiency is maximised. In this way, trust can be built and the business relationship can develop beyond a one-off project. The opportunity also arises for installers to differentiate themselves from their competitors by gaining additional system knowledge that will be necessary for specifying products and completing the labelling process with more intricate or specialist systems. For example, twin flue boiler systems are sometimes the only answer for complex installations, such as where boilers need to be installed in a basement, or within homes where options for boiler siting are minimal. For those homeowners wishing to upgrade their boiler and for whom twin flue boilers are the only answer, they will need to be advised which models are available and have the system specified and the efficiency calculated by an installer who is well qualified to do so. Specialist twin flue manufacturers offer training courses to enable installers to find a solution for nearly any complex heating project and are also available to offer advice and guidance to those who are in the process of familiarising themselves with the new labelling requirements. RESPONDING EFFECTIVELY There is the sense that, when it comes to responding effectively to the requirements outlined by the ErP, everyone is ‘in it together’, whether they are manufacturers, installers or merchants. This is probably because the reality is not very different. Building and construction is a collaborative process, a fact that has come to the forefront as a result of the push to create more energy efficient heating systems that actually operate effectively in practice, and expertise is required at every stage to ensure the result is successful. The knowledge required to accurately calculate whole system efficiency will give installers the opportunity to position themselves as a source of expertise that customers can turn to when faced with any heating dilemma, whether they are deciding to upgrade their boiler to a more efficient model, install controls, or even integrate renewable technologies into the system. Leading manufacturers will always be available when required to offer advice to installers as they become familiar with the requirements of the Energy Labelling Directive, enabling them to make the most of the business opportunities that will arise over the coming months. enquiry number 137 The installer must calculate whole system efficiency based on the different components of the system


HPM November 2015
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