What's the point in ErP?

Chris Flaherty, owner of Vietec Heating, asks how the new ErP regulations will help with energy efficiency.
Chris FlahertyWe are starting to see more awareness been raised of ErP both online and in trade magazines, with the launch of seminars ETC to explain what it all means for installers. This side is actually good, it’s nice to see manufacturers and suppliers informing installers of legislation changes and what they need to do to comply, as this regulation comes into effect on 26th September 2015, so installers need to be aware.
However, I’m having trouble finding how the ErP will benefit anyone. For us, the installers, it just means more paperwork, and more time needed to complete this paperwork, are we expected to do this for free? For the end user, well they will have the same boiler as you’re fitting now, maybe a slight change as they will have to have modulating pumps inside, but that is the only change.
From September 26th 2015, the boiler will now have a sticker on it giving some basic information – the same will apply to hot water cylinders – which will rate the appliance, A, A+, A++ and so on, pretty much the same as you see on your washing machines now.
In my opinion, I can’t see boilers differing much on this scale, maybe in dB rating, but on overall A rating they will most likely be the same. What I would like to know is how exactly will this label save the end user money on their heating running costs? The goal with efficiency is for the end user to save running costs and several factors come into play, like the temperature the system is run at, what room temperature the home owner requires, the heat loss of the building and how long they run their heating for each day. I don’t see how a label on the boiler will have any effect on these points.
erplogo2Let’s take a possible situation as an example. A customer comes to you and asks for a new heating system, as their one is very expensive to run, you install the system and add controls that you feel make the system as efficient as possible, you complete the fiche and rate the system A+, but this property has poor insulation. Once fitted the homeowner runs the system as they did before, having the room stat set to 25 degrees C and leaving the heating on all day and at night. In this scenario the customer will not be saving much money and the next thing you know, they’re complaining that you’ve ripped them off.
I think it’s far more important the focus is on insulation first, then educating homeowners. The only real way they will save money on running costs is by making changes to how they use their heating systems. In all truth, if they spent money on insulation and learnt to time their heating and set the room stat to a lower temperature, maybe upgrade their heating controls, they would save money, without the need for a new boiler.
I fail to see how this ErP sticker will achieve any running cost savings for the end user, it seems pointless to me and just more bureaucracy, but if anyone can explain how it will save the homeowner money on their fuel bills, I’m all ears.My other concern is how long before they decide we need yet another ACS to carry out ErP paper work and fiche reports and yet more expense to installers. I thought the talk was of cutting red tape and bureaucracy for businesses, but for the heating industry, we seem to be having more and more heaped onto us.
I would value others opinions on this matter.