This year, the domestic heating market saw another set of revisions made to Part L of the Building Regulations. Here, Francine Wickham, global marketing director for Fernox explains why these changes represent good news for the industry.
The majority of professional installers will no doubt recall the level of impact the revisions to Part L of the Building Regulations had in 2005 and 2010. Among the changes, was the compulsory requirement for the use of chemical water treatments for both traditional and renewable heating systems.
The latest set of revisions have not introduced such landmark changes, yet we are still seeing them have a positive impact. The most notable change for the domestic heating sector is that the Approved Documents for Part L now requires new homes to achieve a 6% increase in efficiency. Interestingly, the revisions have not made any changes to the rules that apply to existing homes.
With relatively tame targets set and with no changes for existing homes, professional installers will no doubt realise that this means the pressure is well and truly on to ensure that all homes are as energy efficient as they can be, if the UK has any hope of meeting its overall targets to reduce carbon emissions by 2016.
This means that today, in our current climate, professionalism dictates that installers educate customers about potential improvements that can help save energy.
At Fernox, we have found that how to best improve energy efficiency is a topic increasingly asked of our sales and technical teams. This, coupled with the fact that due to financial pressures homeowners are becoming more receptive to energy saving ideas, means that installers are finding it easier to ‘sell in’ energy saving products and processes.
As such, we are already seeing an increase in the sales of central heating system filters, which help contribute toward a ‘belt and braces’ approach to system efficiency as well as products such as Fernox Energy Saver F6, which can actually improve upon the efficiency of a system after it has been powerflushed with a cleaner and treated with an inhibitor.
This focus on energy efficiency, which legislation is driving forward, is a positive approach for the UK. However, without aggressive targets in place, the focus is going to be on UK installers to pick up the mantle of energy efficiency and carry us forward. Installers who are modernising their approach and incorporating energy efficiency improvements into their daily work should now find this easier to achieve, and ultimately are the ones reaping the rewards.