Since it’s introduction, Boiler Plus signalled a major change in the way housing associations address the energy efficiency of heating systems. One such housing association in the Midlands has invested in a full central heating upgrade programme to not only ensure compliance with the legislation, but also to offer tenants greater comfort and lower energy bills. Drayton tells LABM more.
Set up in 2004, Solihull Community Housing (SCH) is the Arm’s Length Management Organisation (ALMO) that delivers the housing service on behalf of Solihull Council across almost 10,000 properties. With the new legislation in place, SCH implemented a maintenance programme that will see 200 combi boilers replaced per year across its entire housing stock.
The existing Building Regulations set out that all new boilers installed, both gas and oil, had to be installed with time and temperature controls. However, following the amendments introduced in 2018 by Boiler Plus, all new combi boiler installations must now also include one of four additional energy saving measures; weather compensation, load compensation, flue gas heat recovery or smart controls, in addition to time and temperature controls.
With many properties unsuitable to install a flue gas heat recovery unit above the boiler, looking at intelligent heating controls has become the most popular way for heating engineers to comply with the new additional measures. With this in mind, SCH contacted Drayton to seek advice on a heating control solution that met these requirements and would help enhance heating efficiencies.
Improving energy use
Paul Davies, Contracts Manager at Dodd Group who oversees 100% of the gas and electrical works at SCH, said: “We welcomed the new Boiler Plus standards as this enabled us to look at how we could improve the way many tenants use energy in their homes by giving them greater control and tangible savings on their energy bills. With the roll out of the replacement combi boiler programme, we required an additional energy efficiency measure and contacted Drayton as we felt its extensive range of solutions would best fit the diverse nature of our housing stock.
“Drayton worked closely with us and recommended the use of its LP111 time control and Digistat+ room thermostat, which would ensure we met the load compensation additional energy saving measure. This combination of products allows the temperature of the water running through the system to be adjusted automatically, meaning the boiler matches each property’s heat requirements better than a simple on/off control, reducing energy wastage and maintaining a comfortable temperature. Not only does this offer tenants a simple and effective way to manage their heating system, but also ensures that requirements of Boiler Plus are met with each new combi boiler installation.
“We have also utilised Drayton’s popular TRVs throughout the central heating upgrade programme, giving tenants individual room control and a far more efficient system all round.
“Although we are in the initial stages of the central heating upgrade programme, we have already received positive feedback from tenants who are quickly reaping the benefits that an energy efficient heating system offers. As legislation continues to evolve, it’s good to know we can seek the necessary advice and support from the likes of Drayton to ensure that we are Boiler Plus compliant and offering our tenants the highest levels of efficiency.”