From 26 September 2015 the way boilers are rated for energy efficiency will change. SEDBUK will be replaced by the Energy related Products (ErP) directive and a new rating system will come into effect. You can read more about this new system in our guide to ErP.
Something we should all be aware of today, from both the news and the advertising campaigns running on national television, is how we all need to be more energy efficient.
Energy efficiency is vital in the modern world, not just for lowering the rising living costs we are confronted with in our day to day life – what with gas and oil prices rising every day – but also to reduce the impact we all have on the environment.
Luckily, the energy efficiency of central heating boilers has improved drastically in recent times, with improvements being made constantly, and an updated boiler in your home could not just make a huge difference in your carbon footprint, but also on your heating bills.
Boiler efficiency rating explained
The government has introduced a system where all new boilers installed in homes must meet energy efficiency guidelines called the ‘SEDBUK’ rating – ‘Seasonal Efficiency of Domestic Boilers in the UK’. This means each and every new boiler fitted in the UK must have a strict level of energy efficiency.
SEDBUK is calculated by the results of the average efficiency achieved in a typical domestic condition annually, factoring in reasonable assumption and variations in the area and usage of the item, in this case a boiler. Tests are made on the boiler’s efficiency with the usual climate, pattern of use, control and any other influences you would expect in an average household in the UK.
You can check the boiler’s energy efficiency rating through SEDBUK by checking the SEDBUK scale – this is ‘A’ to ‘G’ scale that gives the boiler an efficiency rating from ‘A’ to ‘G’ – with ‘A’ being the most efficient.
On the scale, the bands A and B are awarded to boilers that have been classed as highly efficient, while the bands C to G are classed as only standard efficiency. Ever since the SEDBUK rating has been established, anyone who wants to install a standard efficiency boiler with rating bands C to G has to apply to their council for permission to do so, that may or may not be granted.
Some councils, companies and suppliers are currently running schemes that encourage the consumer to purchase the most energy efficient boiler possible for their needs. If you are over 60, own your own home and are on benefits, you might be able to get help to upgrade your old boiler. One such scheme is the Energy Company Obligation, a scheme which provides free boilers for pensioners on Pension Credit as well as other energy consumers on certain benefits who meet the scheme’s strict criteria.
The Energy Saving Trust also have a help and advice line that offers the public useful information about energy efficiency and also offers information about replacing a boiler for an energy efficient boiler replacement and what grants and offers could be available to you.
Savings for installing an energy efficient boiler
While the initial cost of installing a new energy efficient boiler in the home may seem large, the savings possible in comparison to traditional boilers on your heating bill can help save an average household around £160 to £305 a year, depending on how inefficient the existing boiler. When comparing this to the average lifespan of a boiler (around 15 years) this can make a huge difference to your bills in this time.