ErP will provide good opportunities for installers

In the third and final article in our ErP series from Ideal Boilers, Adam Foy discusses the potential energy savings as well as the importance of servicing and upselling controls.
IdealErP3webMany installers will be aware that on 26 September 2015 the EU Energy Related Products (ErP) Directive comes into force. This regulation is for Ecodesign and Energy Labelling of all space and water heaters, and will be mandatory for all 28 countries in the EU. Compliance with the ErP Directive will be a legal requirement for all installers.
The regulation is in two parts – Ecodesign and Energy Labelling – with Energy Labelling being of particular relevance to installers. The labelling measures will mean homeowners will be able to compare the energy efficiency of various products to help them make decisions about reducing their energy consumption.
The ErP regulations are part of the tough 2020 efficiency and carbon reduction targets the UK has to meet, and installers have to be at the forefront of efforts to achieve this. The heating engineer is usually the first person customers talk to about their heating requirements, so – as the trusted professional – installers with up-to-date knowledge are in an excellent position to advise their customers.
Opportunities to educate
Ideal erp webHomeowners generally have pretty standard requirements from their heating systems. They want their home to be comfortable, to be able to easily control the temperature of rooms, and to have instant access to hot water, while being as cost-effective as possible.
The ErP Directive offers installers an opportunity to educate their customers about the potential energy savings they can achieve through upgrading their heating systems to more energy efficient ones, which can save them money over the lifetime of the system.
Installers will already be familiar with the need to inform homeowners of the importance of regular servicing in order to maintain the protection of the manufacturer’s warranty.
They understand the need to emphasise the importance of annual servicing for the householder’s safety.
ErP offers installers an opportunity to use the labelling system (already familiar to householders through the energy efficiency stickers on domestic appliances) to talk to homeowners about additional ways to maintain the health of their heating system as well as how to gain more efficiency from it and potential cost savings. The most obvious of these is the addition of controls to help homeowners better regulate the temperature in their house and the times at which they use the heating.
Installers can also inform homeowners of the benefits of additional services when installing a new boiler, such as power-flushing the radiators to remove built-up sludge, ensuring the boiler can operate more efficiently and cheaply (as the water will be flowing freely around the system). The addition of water treatment/inhibitors will slow the rate of build-up of new particles, saving damage to the heat exchanger and the likelihood of expensive repairs in the future.
In the third and final article in our ErP series from Ideal Boilers, Adam Foy discusses the potential energy savings
as well as the importance of servicing and upselling controls.
Controls
Given that the majority of domestic installations will involve either upgrading the boiler – or upgrading the boiler and radiators – together with the addition of some form of controls, it’s crucial the installer can advise their customer on getting the best from their heating system.
Energy labelling under the ErP Directive offers installers another tool to educate customers on the importance of controls. Installers supplying a complete heating system will be responsible for creating and providing householders with the energy label. They will need to calculate a system efficiency figure based on the different components within the system – e.g. boiler, controls and renewables product (if used).
Controls are defined using ‘classes’. These go from Class I (a simple on/off room thermostat) through to Class VIII (multi-sensor room controls for use with modulating heating appliances).
Each control class equates to a defined percentage increase in system efficiency. For example, a Class VI weather compensating control will add 4% efficiency to the heating system.
More comfort and reduced costs
Tests conducted by the University of Salford for The Association of Controls Manufacturers (TACMA) showed how the use of TRVs (thermostatic radiator valves), which provide independent temperature control in every room, can significantly improve comfort for householders by providing improved heat distribution around a home.
The tests also showed that the energy consumption of a heating system can be reduced by up to 40% through the installation of a room thermostat and TRVs – with installation costs recovered in around a year.
Additional boiler controls, such as weather sensors, can also have an impact on the overall efficiency of the system, increasing homeowner comfort and reducing energy wastage. Sensors installed on the property’s exterior can detect the outdoor temperature and work by telling the boiler to adjust the flow of the radiators inside. The flow is increased if the weather is colder and reduced when the weather warms up, ensuring the system operates more efficiently by preventing spikes in heating activity.
A well set-up system incorporating weather compensation can reduce the homeowner’s need to adjust the thermostat when it feels a bit chilly outside because the system will account for this automatically without turning the heating up too high and wasting energy.
Take charge
Householders are becoming increasingly cost-conscious. Whether it’s switching energy providers, installing low-energy lightbulbs or researching renewables options, consumers have access to more information than ever before. This can be a positive for installers who are still the trusted first port of call for many homeowners.
Installers can help homeowners take charge of their energy usage and make savings wherever possible. Some advice might be to involve another tradesman, for example, for information on insulation, which could lead to a mutually fruitful working relationship
With their knowledgeable, trusted expert heating engineer on hand to guide them through the many energy efficiency options available, there is a great opportunity to help the UK meet its energy obligations, help householders reduce their energy costs wherever possible and help the installer enhance their reputation and build their business.
Ideal resources
Manufacturers and merchants will provide online calculators and tools to assist the installer with these calculations for quotes and completed jobs. Ideal has developed a dedicated online ErP calculator for installers to use to calculate and generate package labels, and its Customer Services team is also fully trained to give advice on ErP and to provide additional support as required.
Additional resources
• Energy Saving Trust: www.energysavingtrust.org.uk/businesses/content/energy-labelling
• HHIC: www.centralheating.co.uk/energy-labelling
• European Heat Pump Association: www.ehpa.org/policy/ecodesign