The Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy consultation entitled ‘Heat in Buildings: The Future of Heat – Domestic Buildings’ ends on January 27, 2017 at 5pm, and the Association of Plumbing and Heating Contractors (APHC) is urging installers to have their say.
The consultation is seeking views from installers, manufacturers and consumers on a range of measures and policy options that aim to help keep energy bills as low as possible and reduce carbon emissions.
Broadly, the consultation document proposes that the minimum requirements that currently apply when a new boiler is installed are applied to replacement installations. The consultation proposes that boilers should have a space heating efficiency of no less than 92% (based on the ErP Space Heating Efficiency metric) and that as a minimum, a thermostat, timer and weather compensation controls should be fitted to domestic heating systems in England – the latter item being particularly significant.
APHC’s CEO, John Thompson, said: “As the leading trade body for plumbing and heating businesses in England and Wales we welcome the outlined proposals. However, we also add a note of caution, as in order for the proposals to work effectively for bone fide heating installers there needs to be a long-term communications campaign to ensure consumers are aware of the changes to legislation, backed-up with robust enforcement actions for non-compliance. Otherwise there could be opportunity for non-complying rogue installers to undercut on price.
“We have genuine concerns over enforcement as in 2016, using the Freedom of Information Act, we asked the 359 City, Borough and District Councils about the number of breaches, prosecutions and enforcement actions relating to Parts J and G of Building Regulations. From 250 responses received, only one council recorded a prosecution, with around a dozen councils having recorded enforcement actions.
“This clearly highlights a situation which we believe needs to be addressed to ensure the proper implementation of important legislative changes such as those proposed.
“I strongly urge all installers to review the consultation document and provide feedback to help ensure the proposed changes work for the greater good of the industry.”
The online consultation document inviting feedback can be accessed at: www.gov.uk/government/consultations/heat-in-buildings-the-future-of-heat.