Monday, 21 May 2018

Is Government Really Interested in Energy Efficiency




Looking at Building Regulations and the new build housing market, it's difficult to believe that the Government is serious about energy efficiency and saving consumers money on their energy costs for their homes, all I see in new build is minimum insulation, standard double glazed windows, radiators running at high temperatures, pipes not insulated, there is so much more that could be done to improve efficiency without costing the earth, if we can't get the new build market right, what chance do we have with existing stock.

In my opinion insulation levels of new homes should be greatly increased, if we reduce the heatloss first, everything else falls into place to reduce running costs, why build a house with a 15kW heat loss, when we could make it a 9kW heatloss with better insulation, the lower the heatloss the lower the heat input required to maintain comfortable room temperatures which will lead to reduced running costs, it's as simple as that, I also feel that new build should be embracing UFH now as standard, or at the very least be designing the system and sizing the radiators to heat the rooms at a 50*C flow temperature, not the 70-80*C that I mainly see in new build, also standard cheap radiators should not be used, better quality efficient heat emitters should be used, this in itself would increase efficiency by a large amount, as the boiler would always be in condensing mode, even without weather compensation, the likes of Boiler Plus just seems to want to add components which in reality will do a basic minimum to save energy, they need to tackle the main issues to reduce running costs, better insulation and better heating system design, most new build homes have the boiler and cylinder if they have one, (most seem to go the combination boiler route, which is not always the best solution in my opinion) shoved in a small cupboard, or the boiler is in the utility room and the cylinder in a cupboard on the first floor, which creates a long primary run which does run at a higher temperature to heat the cylinder, which then has heatloss, the cylinder and boiler should be together, so the primary flow & return to the cylinder is as short as possible to reduce energy waste.

Boiler 4 pipe technology that some boiler manufacturers have should be used in new build, still using old outdated cylinder thermostats in this day and age is ridiculous, using a sensor direct from the boiler to control cylinder temperature is more accurate and safer in my opinion.

System balancing appears to have been dropped completely from system commission, its an essential part of ensuring the system runs efficiently

So who is responsible for holding things back, Government, Manufacturers, Housebuilders? I just do not understand why new homes are been built in 2018 to what are very poor building regulations, that simply do not go far enough to reduce the energy required to heat those homes, we need change, at the moment it just appears to be a box ticking exercise, with no real meaning, stating that a home is A rated, or B rated in reality means absolutely nothing, all a homeowner wants is low fuel bills and I do not believe the EPC means that bills will be low, especially with todays Building Regulations

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