Boiler plus (boiler+) regulations (the latest update to Part L of the building regulations) will come into force from April 6th 2018, But what does this mean for YOU the homeowner?
The Boiler Plus regulations are (for the time being) mainly effecting Combination (Combi) boiler installations. If you are having a System or Heat Only boiler fitted, the only changes, are that the heating system must now be a minimum of 92% efficient, and have some kind of Time & Temperature control (such as a standard programmer / timer and a room thermostat).
The new regulations for Combination boilers, are centred around making them more energy efficient. This should mean that they cost less to run, as less fuel will be used while the boiler is operating.
There are 4 different ways of complying with the Boiler Plus regulations;
- Fit a ‘Weather compensated control‘ – This is a controller that adjusts how much heat the boiler sends to your radiators, according to how hot or cold it is outside (The colder outside, the higher the temperature of your radiators)
- Fit a ‘Load compensated control‘ – This is a controller that optimises how much energy the boiler uses when running the Heating (the smaller the ‘load’, the smaller the amount of energy / gas the boiler will use to heat the home)
- Use ‘Flue gas heat recovery‘ which is a system that utilises the heat built up in the boilers exhaust to pre-heat the cold water, so that your boiler uses less energy to heat up your Hot water.
- Fit ‘Smart controls‘ which are controls which can be used via a Smart phone or internet enabled device. *These controls must also be capable of ‘automation, optimisation, load or weather compensation’. So controls such as ‘Nest’ will comply, even if not modulating the boiler.
At Boiler Boffin, we install Vaillant – Glow-worm, ATAG, Viessmann and Baxi – Potterton boilers.
All of these manufacturers have their own controls and other, more unique ways of complying with the new Boiler Plus regulations.
- Vaillant – Glow-worm offer a range of controls such as the ‘VSmart’ which is both a Smart control, and a Weather and Load Compensated controller.
- ATAG – All ATAG boilers are supplied with a weather compensating sensor, The Economiser range of combination boilers also have ‘Flue gas heat recovery’ built in. Along side their own range of Weather and Load compensating controllers, The ATAG boilers are also ‘OpenTherm’ compatible, so Smart controls such as ‘Nest’ can also be used to comply.
- Baxi – Potterton – Have designed the ‘in flue outdoor sensor’ which enables weather compensation without having to fit a sensor to an outside wall. They also have their own range of weather and load compensated controls, plus they are ‘OpenTherm’ compatible.
As you can see, adhering to Boiler Plus shouldn’t be difficult, or expensive. There is a wide range of options and solutions available, with many of them actually already built into some boilers.
But it is important that you use an installer who is aware and understanding of exactly what needs to done in order to comply. As failure to comply to building regulations could leave YOU, the homeowner, facing prosecution and a fine of up to £5,000.