Ryan Gill, Engineer
31 Jan : Updated 29 Nov ● 5 min read
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. Do you know what it means?
When you’re buying an appliance, whether it’s a new boiler or washer, the energy rating offers crucial information and gives an insight into the quality of the appliance.
Essentially, the lower the efficiency rating, the more energy the appliance will use and the more money you will have to spend on running the machine.
To combat inefficiency and minimise the impact our appliances have on the environment, in 2009, the EU introduced the ERP Directive.
Here, we explore what ERP means, its impact on the efficiency of our boilers, how your boiler’s ERP rating is calculated, and how to identify an energy-efficient boiler. This is BOXT’s complete guide to ERPs.
ERP, or the Energy-related Products Directive, applies to all products that use energy, including heating products like combi boilers and water heaters.
The ERP was introduced to ensure manufacturers of these products are doing everything they can to reduce their products’ impact on the environment.
As the name suggests, the ERP applies to all energy-related products that have a significant impact on the environment, i.e. those using electricity or renewable energy sources and products that can be made to be more energy efficient.
The ERP system is split into two sections - eco-design and energy labelling.
This relates to the regulation of manufacturing products under the ERP. Each new appliance, including combi boilers, must meet strict design requirements before they can be sold. Any appliances that do not meet these specifications are prohibited from sale.
This segment of the ERP ensures clarity for consumers - allowing them to choose the most energy-efficient products, reduce their carbon emissions and save money on energy bills.
All appliances, not just boilers, must have an efficiency rating under the ERP. Previously, the scale ran from G (the lowest rating) to A+++ (the highest rating) but this was rescaled in 2021 to provide consumers with clearer, more up to date labelling. In the new rating system, appliances are only rated from G to A (so the A+, A++ and A+++ labels are no longer in use), with the original green to red colour scale remaining the same.
In practice, this means that any appliances which may once have been rated as A+++ for efficiency will now be rated A even though the actual efficiency of the product hasn’t changed.
ERP testing is an important process for any product, especially those we use to heat our homes. By identifying the correct rating no matter the product type, we can all do our bit for the environment and ensure we’re not wasting energy or creating unnecessary pollution.
Boiler efficiency defines the amount of energy that goes into your home, as opposed to it being lost or wasted. For example, if you have a combi boiler that’s 90% efficient, it means 10% of the energy it uses is wasted. Basically, the less efficient your boiler is, the more fuel you’ll have to pay for because of wasted energy.
To increase boiler efficiency and support the UK’s efforts towards net zero carbon emissions, the UK government passed a law in 2007 which made it compulsory for all new boilers to be condensing boilers.
A condensing boiler uses the warmth from the hot gases expelled by the boiler flue. This technology is very effective and means that every condensing boiler is an A-rated condensing boiler - with efficiency levels of over 90%.
First introduced in April 2018, the boiler flue regulations dictate where and how boiler flues must be installed. They are part of the UK’s building regulations and exist to reduce the risk of people coming into contact with carbon monoxide.
SEDBUK is another way of rating a boiler’s efficiency. ERP has all but replaced SEDBUK, but some boiler manufacturers still display the SEDBUK rating on their products because some people believe it provides more accurate and useful information.
With energy bills and fuel prices so high, your boiler must be as energy efficient as possible, otherwise, you’re essentially throwing money away. Luckily, the majority of new gas boilers are A-rated, which means they’re at least 90% efficient. So, if you have an old boiler, upgrading to a new one will help to reduce your heating bills.
Your boiler’s energy efficiency will directly impact how much energy is required to heat your home, as well as the speed it heats up and, ultimately, how much it costs to warm up too.
Simply put, the more efficient the boiler, the higher its energy efficiency rating, and the lower our energy bills and carbon footprint will be.
At BOXT, we’re committed to making it easier and more affordable for you to heat your home in the most carbon-conscious way possible. From the way we do business right through to the products we deliver to your door, our mission is to help you keep your energy consumption and fuel bills to a minimum, which is why you’ll only find A-rated boilers on our website.
Now you know more about ERP ratings, you can make a more informed decision when it comes to replacing your existing boiler. Buying a more modern, more efficient boiler will help you to save money on your energy bills and reduce your carbon footprint, so it’s a win-win.
Time for an upgrade? Buy a new A-rated boiler and have it installed as early as tomorrow.
For more advice on reducing your energy bills and all things heating, take a look at our boiler guides. Here, you’ll find information on how to connect a wireless thermostat to your boiler, how thermostatic radiator controls work, and much more.
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