Baroness Neville-Rolfe, the government minister of State at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy has endorsed the Heating and Hotwater Industry Council’s (HHIC) ‘Retro Boiler’ label scheme, which launched November 16 at the Plumbing and Heating Exhibition, PHEX, Chelsea.
The scheme will see registered gas engineers issue an energy efficiency label, a ‘Retro Boiler’ label, on all non-condensing boilers with a permanent pilot light, when visiting homes to undertake servicing or maintenance work.
The aim is to increase consumer awareness of boiler efficiency, in particular the performance of their own boiler. In turn, it is hoped that this will result in inefficient and costly boilers being replaced with more efficient models.
Stewart Clements, director, HHIC, said: “HHIC estimate that there are approximately nine million inefficient boilers in the UK. A large proportion of these are over 20 years old and would be classed as ‘zombie boilers’ – boilers with old technology that never seem to die, yet remain highly inefficient. These cost homeowners in terms of higher bills, the planet in terms of higher carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions and a contributor to poor air quality, compared to a modern condensing boiler.
“A growing number of consumer electrical products such as washing machines, fridges and vacuum cleaners feature an energy label, which helps consumers to quickly assess how energy efficient their appliances are, and therefore, how much it will cost to operate. The heating industry recognised this and under this ‘Retro Boiler’ label scheme will be providing a similar label for older inefficient models.
“A boiler label scheme has been operated very successfully in Germany and we believe that it could have a similar impact in the UK. Replacing a Band E or below boiler with an A rated boiler could see gas bills reduced by approximately £150 per year and a saving of 0.7 tonnes of CO2 each year for the typical UK household.”
Baxi has welcomed the HHIC’s decision to launch a retrospective boiler labelling scheme.
Jeff House, regulatory marketing manager at Baxi, said: “The scheme will involve heating engineers applying a pre-completed label to any existing, inefficient, permanent pilot light boilers that they service or repair. The label is similar to the EU energy label that is now supplied with boilers of up to 70kW through the Energy Labelling Directive (ErP) and is designed to help homeowners to quickly and easily assess how efficient their boiler is, and whether it would be worthwhile to replace it with a modern, condensing equivalent.
“Consumers are of course already very familiar with energy labels, with them being found on domestic appliances such as dishwashers and washing machines. The ErP and other energy label schemes have proven that consumers do react to clear label ratings, and respond to them by trying to maximise their efficiency.”
Baxi plans to work with heating engineers to help them adopt the labelling scheme, so that it becomes a standard part of their service and repair work. The company will provide HHIC retrospective labels to installers who are members of its Baxi Works loyalty scheme free of charge, to help increase their boiler installation and servicing work and grow their businesses.