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What Is ERP? What You Need To Know About Boiler Efficiency

You may have seen the big sticker on white goods, such as washing machines or dishwashers, showing an energy rating guide for a particular product. Ever wondered what it means? An energy rating is crucial when shopping for a new boiler, as well as a number of other large appliances. Why is this rating an important thing to consider before a purchase?

Being more cautious with our energy usage and reducing gas emissions is becoming increasingly more important as the years go by, especially after seeing the effect excessive usage has had on the environment so far. In 2009, the ERP Directive was signed, bringing positive change in favour of energy efficiency in products.

What is ERP and which products should be ERP compliant? How efficient is your boiler? In this guide, we’ll discuss everything you need to know about the directive and how to identify or choose an energy efficient boiler.

What is ERP?

The ERP (or Energy Related Products Directive) is a European legislation which was signed back in 2009. It applies to all products that consume energy throughout their lifetime - including their manufacturing process. The Directive includes domestic and commercial heating products, such as your boilers, water heaters, and other electrically powered products.

The purpose of the ERP Directive is to encourage manufacturers to offer products that are kinder to the environment by reducing harmful gas emissions through production and disposal. As the name of the Directive suggests, it applies to energy related products that have a significant impact on the environment. For example, those using electricity or renewable energy sources and those products which can be improved upon in their design/functionality.  

Manufacturers and importers are responsible for ensuring their products are ERP compliant. They must make sure that each product follows the new guidelines and are only manufactured and sold if they meet these requirements.

How does it work?

The ERP directive is split between Eco Design and Energy Labelling:

  • Eco Design makes sure that a product meets specific energy-saving criteria when it is being manufactured and installed. Only products which meet new design and functionality requirements will be permitted to be used or installed into homes.
  • Energy Labelling should be clear, meaning that at a glance, people can see an ERP rating and know how efficient that particular product will be. Ratings range from A+++ to G, with G being the lowest rating possible and A+++ being the highest.

ERP testing for a manufacturer is an important process for any product, especially those we use to heat up our homes. From identifying the correct rating no matter the product type, we will all be able to do our bit for the environment to ensure we’re not wasting energy or polluting the atmosphere with potentially dangerous gases.

What is boiler efficiency and why is it important?

Boiler efficiency is calculated by analysing the fuel it converts into usable energy and also how much fuel is wasted throughout the process. Depending on the percentage, the product will receive a letter rating, enabling someone to quickly identify more energy efficient products.

Heating up your home takes up a big proportion of your energy bills, which means that having an efficient boiler is a must. The better your ERP boiler rating, the cheaper your energy bills will be in the long run.

New boiler regulations 2018 state that any boiler installed from April and beyond must have an ERP efficiency rating of at least 92%. These regulations were put into place in a bid to help stabilise climate change whilst also providing the people of the UK with warmer homes. It’s important to consider the ERP rating of a boiler before purchasing or installing to ensure you’re doing your bit for the environment and lowering your heating bills wherever possible.

It’s also a requirement post-April 2018 for all new boilers to include a programmable timer and thermostat. This will enable homeowners to control their heating times and temperatures and ensure they’re only used when needed.

When your new boiler is ready to go, it’s a requirement to have at least one of the following:

  • Load and weather compensating thermostats – these will alter the temperature of your radiator depending on your home temperate or outside temperature.
  • Flue gas heat recovery systems – this enables a boiler to reuse heat making it more efficient. New boilers may already have this in place.
  • Smart thermostats – this gives the occupants of a home the ability to control their heating through a mobile device from anywhere.

Boiler flue regulations 2018.

After the new 2018 regulations, it’s now also a requirement for your boiler flue to be installed in a specific location. This is due to the hazardous gases produced from your boiler which may be dangerous when inhaled or if in contact with. Changing the position or installing it in a suitable place will prevent these gases from coming into contact with anyone or anything.

The flue of a standard sized boiler should be placed at least 30cm away from an opening, such as a window or door, or 60cm away for a larger boiler. If this isn’t possible, then it should be at a height of over 2.1 metres to ensure safety.

More to look out for when buying a boiler.

The ERP regulations put into place in 2018 will give you peace of mind when shopping for a new boiler. However, if you’re interested in the specifics when comparing boilers in terms of efficiency, then the Sedbuk efficiency rating can give you a greater understanding.

The Sedbuk system (or Seasonal Efficiency of Domestic Boilers) compares different boilers in terms of how efficient they are when converting different fuels, such as oil and gas - into heat for your home. The following scores are what you could look out for:

  • Winter efficiency – this is measured from a number of factors such as space, thermal insulation, heating and hot water combined, as well as the shape and material of the building itself.
  • Hot water efficiency – how efficient your boiler is at producing hot water for your taps and showers. There can be a big difference in scores for hot water efficiency, so this is one you need to look into if you’re interested in specifics.

What is ERP and how can an efficient boiler benefit your home?

The ERP directive 2018 is a great step towards being an energy efficient household. If you need more information about the ERP directive and how these guidelines can be beneficial to you - our all knowing engineers are here to help. Make full use of our website’s live chat, we’ll be happy to answer any questions!

To find the right energy efficient boiler for your home, you can use our free ‘Find A Boiler’ tool. From collecting the answers to some simple questions, our tool will be able to find and recommend the best boiler for you and guide you through the steps to installation.

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