The Association of Plumbing & Heating Contractors (APHC) is urging all installers to ensure they give feedback on the changes being proposed in the current Building Regulations consultation, many of which will have a dramatic impact on installers' businesses.

The Department for Communities & Local Government (CLG) launched its consultation at the end of January on various aspects of the Building Regulations, including changes to Parts P and L. The suggested changes will impact on existing working procedures for installers and APHC wants to ensure all installers know the impact of these potential changes on them. Some of the key proposed changes are outlined below.

Changes to Part P include proposals to remove work on heating system controls (other than the new circuit connection aspect) from the scope of Part P. Additional proposals would see alteration work in kitchens and bathrooms also removed, where the work is outside zones 0, 1 and 2 (the parts of the bathroom that are considered to be at least 600mm away from the edge of the bath or the shower).

Two significant changes have been proposed for Part L:

CLG has proposed to revert back to the 2008 requirements for space heat zoning, by permitting a single room thermostat and TRV’s to be used in a domestic property with a floor area below 150m2 as an alternative to the current requirement of two room thermostats, zoning and supporting pipework. This has been proposed because the cost effectiveness of having two room thermostats in dwellings under 150m2 has not been proven.

A further proposal under Part L covers Consequential Improvements carried out at the same time as particular works are undertaken. At present any homeowner wishing to extend their property through additional building work or loft / garage conversion does not need to make additional improvements.

Under the proposals during all extensions to a property, where a boiler is replaced, the homeowner will be required to undertake one of a selection of four energy efficiency measures: loft insulation; cavity wall insulation; cylinder insulation; or draught proofing; at the same time as the work is carried out.

John Thompson, chief executive of APHC, said: “ It is important that all installers understand and comment on these proposed changes as some will have a significant impact on work specifications and indeed costs to customers. I would urge companies out there to provide feedback to CLG before the deadline and help tackle the issues highlighted in the consultation.”

Installers can read more on the proposals or post their own comments on the individual sections of the CLG website:

The consultation will last until 27 April, 2012.