A ‘Retro Boiler’ label scheme was launched by the Heating & Hotwater Industry Council (HHIC) today at the Plumbing & Heating Exhibition (PHEX) in Chelsea.

The scheme will see registered gas engineers issue an energy efficiency label - a ‘Retro Boiler’ label - on all non-condensing boilers with a permanent pilot light, when visiting homes to undertake servicing or maintenance work.

The aim is to increase consumer awareness of boiler efficiency with the hope that this will result in inefficient and costly boilers being replaced with more efficient models.

The HHIC and UK boiler manufacturers will be in attendance across the two day show to talk to installers about the scheme and issue installers with a supply of the ‘Retro Boiler’ labels.

The scheme is endorsed by Baroness Neville-Rolfe, Minister of State at the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BIES).

“This is a fine example of the collaboration and initiative that makes the UK gas boiler market one of the largest and most valuable in the world,” said Baroness Neville-Rolfe. “Helping consumers to optimise their household heating fits perfectly our vision of ensuring that the UK has a reliable, low cost and clean energy system.”

The HHIC estimates there are approximately 9 million inefficient boilers in the UK. A large proportion of these are over 20 years old and would be classed as ‘zombie boilers’- boilers with old technology that never seem to die, yet remain highly inefficient - costing homeowners in terms of higher bills, the planet in terms of higher carbon dioxide emissions and a contributor to poor air quality- compared to a modern condensing boiler.

“A growing number of consumer electrical products such as washing machines, fridges and vacuum cleaners feature an energy label, which helps consumers to quickly assess how energy efficient their appliances are, and therefore how much it will cost to operate. The heating industry recognised this and under this ‘Retro Boiler’ label scheme will be providing a similar label for older inefficient models,” explained Stewart Clements, director, HHIC.

“A boiler label scheme has been operated very successfully in Germany and we believe that it could have a similar impact in the UK. Replacing a Band E or below boiler with an A rated boiler could see gas bills reduced by approximately £150 per year and a saving of 0.7 tonnes of CO2 each year for the typical UK household.”