Sunday, 6 September 2015

ErP is Flawed

ErP is nearly upon us and now we have more information at our hands in my opinion it is flawed

If we install a gas boiler the boiler will come with a label and with condensing boilers this label will give a rating of A, no change there, we have been forced to fit A rated boilers for over 10 years, not a problem as far as I am concerned, old style boilers were poor, so far so good, the problem for me is when we add controls,  we now have to complete a Fiche and rate the SYSTEM, this is where the flaw is, we are now rating the energy efficiency of the heating system, although we may just be changing the boiler and adding new controls, how do we know that the radiators are correctly sized to cover the heat loss of the rooms, how do we know the insulation levels of the property, how do we know the quality of the windows, yet we will be rating the system and producing a label telling the customer the energy rating of their system, now the two images below are miles apart and I know is a bit OTT, but to prove a point, both properties with say a gas boiler and a Honeywell Evohome control system would be given a energy efficient rating under ErP of A+ now its obvious that the igloo will not be energy efficient, but ErP does not allow for heat emitters, or insulation levels to be taken into consideration, so both will be rated A+

Now in reality we will not get such extremes, but we can get a property that requires a new boiler, well insulated with triple glazing, we fit a new boiler with quality rated controls and from the Fiche we get a system rating of A+ we could probably feel quite comfortable with that, but we could fit the exact same system to a house with poor quality insulation, single glazed windows and draughty, the Fiche would still produce a rating of A+ this is giving false information to the public and we should not be giving A+ energy efficient ratings to uninsulated or poorly insulated properties, just to tick some EU boxes, this is not how we should allow our industry to go.

Another example, I worked on a project last year, an old house in Kent built in 1921, no insulation in roof space, single pane windows, draughty external doors etc, it had heating with very old cast iron radiators, not in every room and had two hot water cylinders in different parts of the house, both uninsulated, now I worked on this project with a builder, we dug up the ground floor to put in 100mm of insulation for UFH 

We renewed all the heating system UFH on the ground and new quality radiators on the upper floors

We fitted a new centralised plant room with weather compensation controls

All windows were renewed with energy efficient double glazed windows and all external doors were changed, along with new bathrooms etc

The builder also heavily insulated the roof space, walls and anywhere he could, along with we insulated all pipes, now this is not just self promotion here, there is a point, if ErP had been around then, with the system installed and the property insulation levels and windows, along with the weather compensated controls, via the Fiche I would of happily given the customer a label rating the system A+, but on the other hand an installer could of come to the same property, changed the boiler onto the existing system, added Honeywell Evohome controls and the fiche would of still produced an label rating the efficiency of the heating system A+ this is so very wrong, ErP is flawed and needs to be stopped before it even starts at the very least the Fiche needs to have insulation levels and window type within it to produce a system label, otherwise we will have lots of mis informed members of the public and lots of false claims of efficient heating systems.

STOP ErP and get it right before launching 


  1. I think you may be confusing Energy Related Products (ErP) and Energy Performance Certificate (EPC). The system could be rated at A+ but if the insulation and windows are poor, as you say, the overall EPC will still be low, at say a C for example. While this should be properly communicated to customers, so they don't misinterpret the system label as being indicative of the efficiency of the whole house, to make them part of the same thing would cross into completely new territory and mean even more work for installers.

  2. No I am not confusing EPC with ErP, once controls are added we are rating the SYSTEM, not the appliance, this is where I see the problem, you cannot say that an installed system is efficient if insulation is poor as the heat loss will be great causing greater consumption of gas than a similar property would have if well insulated, this will cause confusion with the public, because as far as they are concerned, if you give them a label saying their system is rated A+ then they think that the system is a very efficient system, which may not be true.
    So what do you see the certificate rating when you make a fiche and produce the label for the system, if its not for the system efficiency, as the efficiency of a system is not just reliant on a energy efficient appliance (Boiler) and some controls, a system can only be efficient once other factors are taken into account, Window, insulation etc

  3. Totally agree here. You could have a system designed with 80/60 radiators and an infinitely better system with 50 /30 rads but with no added 'brownie points! !

    1. Very good point, obviously the 50/30 system should get a higher energy efficiency rating than the 80/60 system, so yet another point that shows the failings of ErP