Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government
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Homeowners to get green boiler rating
From today homeowners can ask for a free A-G energy rating for their boiler with advice to help cut fuel bills, when the engineer visits.
Heating and hot water bills are the biggest energy costs households face each month, yet many people are unaware the average boiler is 'E' rated and could produce over 50 per cent more heat - making the recommended improvements could cut fuel bills by hundreds of pounds and reduce carbon emissions.
The energy assessment includes a checklist of efficiency improvements. For example, a family could save nearly £100 a year just by taking a few a simple steps like getting a 75mm water cylinder jacket, installing heating controls and insulating the hot water pipes.
Longer term measures such as changing from a low G rated boiler to an A rated one could save over £200 a year and cut up to 2.7 tonnes of carbon off a household's carbon footprint.
The Government has introduced free energy ratings for boilers in time for people to carry out their annual maintenance check before winter sets in, as part of its wider drive to help consumers make their homes more environmentally efficient.
Communities Minister, Iain Wright said:
"With winter heating bills just around the corner now is the perfect time to get a maintenance check on your boiler. Today the Government has introduced an 'eco' friendly winter warmer for consumers - this new energy assessment for boilers will help households cut their fuel bills and carbon footprint too.
"So this autumn when the engineer visits ask him to check your boiler so you can see how efficient it is and what improvements and savings you could make.
According to the Heating and Hot Water Industry Council there are still around 4 million old, very inefficient boilers in use in homes, most of which will still be operating in 2010. Replacing these would save two and half a million tonnes of C02 each year by 2010.
Roger Webb, Director, Heating and Hot Water Industry Council (HHIC) said:
"This new scheme will be a useful tool in highlighting to householders the importance of replacing their boiler with the most efficient models. Consumer safety would also be improved if householders were encouraged to replace their boiler as most incidents of CO poisoning are caused by old, poorly maintained appliances."
Most businesses have rising energy costs. The Carbon Trust estimates that hot water accounts for about 60% of total energy bills for commercial and industrial buildings.
In addition to the energy assessment rating for office heating systems new guidance published today will help facilities managers to think about how to monitor energy efficiency and streamline their energy expenditure.
For example turning down your heating by just 1C can save your annual heating costs by as much as 8%. One company in Wales that employs 65 people recently reviewed their heating system and installed a new high efficiency boiler - it reduced their energy bill by 18%.
Iain Wright added:
"Every business wants to keep their energy bills to a minimum. This new energy assessment for commercial heating systems can help them do that - and it will help reduce the company's carbon footprint which we all know is really important for the environment."
Four year energy efficiency loans of up to £100,000 pounds are available to eligible small and medium companies (SMEs) to help them make changes sooner rather than later. It is also possible to apply for tax relief via enhanced capital allowances - if a business invests in energy-saving machinery it can write off the whole cost of the equipment against taxable profits in the year of purchase.
Communities and Local Government is committed to changing the way we have been building our homes and communities so that their impact on the environment is reduced. We have already set out that we will create an eco town in every region by 2020 - which could provide up to 200,000 additional eco-homes. Last year the Government introduced the zero carbon standard which Eco-towns would have to reach - most new zero carbons homes will also be exempt from stamp duty. In addition energy performance certificates, which are being rolled out as part of Home Information Packs, will now give people buying or selling their property an A-G energy rating for the whole home.
Notes to Editors
1. Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs) which the Government began rolling out from August 1 provide an A-G energy rating the whole property for the marketed sale of domestic homes as part of the Home Information Pack. Commercial EPCs will begin to be rolled out in April 2008.
2. Only 3m out 23m households put their homes up for sale each year in England and Wales. This new checklist will mean those not buying or selling their home can now get an energy assessment of their boiler.
3. 75% of domestic gas and oil boilers have annual boiler service visits. Nearly all solid fuel boilers are serviced and/or have their chimney swept regularly.
4. Only 20% of new gas boilers installed in 2003 were A or B rated. The Government has raised the energy performance standards for new and replacement central-heating boilers - now 95% of new gas boilers installed now are A or B rated condensing boilers.
5. Buildings accounting for almost half of the energy consumption and carbon emissions in the UK.
6. Peter Thom, President IDHEE said:
"The Institute of Domestic Heating and Environmental Engineers fully support this initiative to raise awareness of how inefficient and wasteful old boilers are. Faithful boilers can last longer than 15 years, but they have a detrimental effect on the environment. Installing a modern condensing boiler with new controls can save up to 40% on fuel bills and carbon dioxide emissions and don't forget that over 80% of energy used in the home is for heating and hot water"
7. The Oil Firing Technical Association welcomed the introduction of the new boiler ratings. Registration Services Director, Glen Rae, said:
"OFTEC supports any initiative which helps installers to inform householders of energy saving measures. The fact that the checklist illustrates this clearly by showing typical cost savings and CO2 reductions should be well received by both the trade and consumers."
8. For further information on the energy efficiency for boilers campaign please visit: http://www.communities.gov.uk/boilers
9. For more information on Enhanced Capital Grants visit: http://www.eca.gov.uk/etl
10. For more information on interest free energy - efficiency loans visit http://www.carbontrust.co.uk/loans
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