‘Significant’ Update Made to the Boiler Benchmark Scheme
After a 12 month review by the Heating and Hotwater Industry Council (HHIC), significant changes have now been made to the Benchmark gas appliance commissioning scheme in line with the government's Boiler Plus legislation of 2018.
Since April 2018 all boilers installed in the UK have been required to achieve at least 92% energy ErP efficiency and must have working timer and temperature controls. The legislation was introduced in an effort to improve the energy efficiency of UK homes. Combi boilers are also required to have at least one of four energy efficiency features: load compensation, weather compensation, smart controls and/or FGHR (Flue Gas Heat Recovery).
The Benchmark scheme is an industry initiative introduced and administered by the HHIC which outlines the responsibilities of manufacturers and installers regarding the safety and efficiency of heating and hot water products, including ensuring compliance with Building Regulations. It is included in the installation and commissioning procedures booklet provided by the manufacturer as a minimum standard for commissioning. After a 12 month review, the Benchmark scheme has now also been updated to comply with Boiler Plus standards.
Standard re-commissioning checks should include flushing the system, checking for water leaks, testing for gas tightness, ensuring the correct installation and positioning of the PRV, flue and condensate pipe. While completing the GSIUR 26(9) checks they should also ensure that the flame supervision device is working correctly.
When the installer commissions the boiler they should complete the Benchmark checklist. If they fail to do this the manufacturer's warranty will be void. The boiler needs to be registered with the relevant manufacturer within one from the date of installation.
For more detail on what has been updated in the Benchmark scheme, the revised checklist for installers can be found here.
The HHIC commented:
"Embracing Benchmark is the most straightforward way to help make sure engineers comply, as the documentation is already supplied with the appliance. It also offers protection to the installer. It demonstrates that their work has been carried out to best practice guidelines and increases credibility with both manufacturers and customers.
"If the product is correctly fitted and has a completed Benchmark checklist, if a problem then occurs, the onus is on the product manufacturer to undertake the repair. It is also worth noting that, without completing the Benchmark checklist, the warranty of the product is void."