The recent Installer Show was well attended by both exhibitors and visitors and coincided with a long overdue uplift in Part L building regulations. But despite all the exhibitors claims of saving the planet, there was little there to help the 22.5 million gas powered homes. For just as the new Part L regulations fall short on guaranteeing that boilers that work with a cylinder ever condense, so the majority of manufacturers continue to do the same. I wandered around the boiler manus asking about low temp heating for cylinder systems (I had assumed at last cylinder systems were being brought into the fold) but apart from ATAG & Viessmann who were straight back with PDHW, and Valliant who’s boilers do it anyway if you use the correct controls, the rest were all a bit bumbly with their not quite sure replies.
The rad people knew all but nothing regarding low temp radiators; still selling sexy DT60 stuff and towel rails that wouldn’t dry a hanky with an ASHP. Even my fav controls people (EPH) who do a cracking simple upgrade from S&Y to PDHW with any OT boiler weren’t advertising it.
It’s only due to me finally reading the new Part L to discover that the men in suits are still happy to let cylinder systems run at 75degC with a timer. This means the boiler will also run at 75degC for heating and as always hardly ever condense. Most boilers (even the cheap blue stripe ones) can do PDHW to a fashion, they are easier to wire and no different to install than a cold war S&Y plan yet S&Y plans still rule the day.
What is the logic behind this? S&Y plans should have been outlawed when condensing boilers were mandated – what’s the point of putting a condensing boiler on a system that has to run at 75/80 degrees? It was unacceptable back then – its almost criminal today. Who made this decision and why? The HHIC recommend this stuff and we all know the issue – that the HHIC are funded by the big boiler companies, yet all the boiler companies make boilers that offer PDHW? Where is the logic to any of this? Why are these people allowed to make these decisions? To whom are they answerable? Our grandchildren are depending on us and we are letting them down badly.
On top of this, none of these new regs will be policed at all, so who will comply anyway? Another pointless toothless exercise like Boiler Plus that was watered down to about nothing. Look at the wording in these regs: As ambiguous and grey as you could make it. What is a ‘typical heating load’ and what is ‘significantly oversized’ I think it’s a disgrace and an insult to what we are supposed to be achieving. Very few of us have the money to buy ASHP but realistically nothing is being done to upgrade the housing stock we have for the next 10 years? How is it today, that boilers that are not fit for purpose (massively oversized) are being fitted into new builds with postage stamp size rads & microbore pipework? If things stay as they are every one of them will need a full radiator upgrade & all new pipework to be ASHP ready in just a few years’ time. How stupid stupid stupid and irresponsible is that, how much carbon footprint is the removal of 100’s of thousands of ‘not old’ rads going in the bin going to be never mind the cost for the young home owner. Someone responsible needs his or her P45. It seems to me that gas boiler manufacturers are already moving-on to heat pumps and not inclined to correct their national legacy of ‘non-condensing condensing’ boilers. Net Zero is the new meal ticket for profit rather than a real lust to save energy. It is all about the sales all over again and there will be no care given to heat pumps how efficiently will actually run – I mean how many gas systems run anywhere near the required 92%.