With just 2 months to go to the introduction you would think that we were all prepared in the UK for the introduction of the Energy Related Products (ErP)* directive from the EU manufacturers testing and installers preparing for project specific energy labelling.
There are other issues to be resolved. If a GSHP designer/installer wants to show better unit performance by using a higher (>0 deg C ) ‘brine’ temperature, at present the MCS/Gemserv website does not allow this function. That could probably be fixed without too much of a fuss but will the manufacturers be providing the relevant information to the certification Bodies for the SCoP calculation to be developed?
Stop press: Just before being published we have learnt of the government announcement of the abandonment of the Allowable solutions provision and carbon zero homes by 2016 aspiration. Target Emissions Rates (TER) will be frozen at 2013 levels and NOT made more stringent for 2016. The HPA feel dropping allowable solutions has very little implications for homeowners as it would have benefited the builders but not reduced annual energy bills. However the HPA are extremely disappointed that abandoning Zero Carbon homes targets and freezing TER’s will have 2 key negative effects:
- It means the direction of travel by the whole domestic heating sector in general, and the renewable sectors in particular, are completely disrupted
- It means industry will be even more cautious of investing time and resources in meeting the aspirations of future government for fear they could be abandoned by the next government. This basically means that any business can only plan as far as the current parliamentary period and this will create even increasing uncertainty as the next election time approach.
We are told this is ensure the provision of housing is not burdened financially, yet the vast majority of the cost of any dwelling is the land cost. In some areas the build cost is less than 30% of the ‘property’ cost. Even based on average prices build cost is only circa 40-50%. Would adding £2000-4000 on an average £224,000 price house really be a big burden. Not surprisingly the House Builders federation welcome the announcement, however the groans of the insulation & renewable sectors remain unheard.
For more information please visit the HPA website www.heatpumps.org.uk
Next Month: HPA will publish a FAQ on the ErP specifically directed toward installers and address the issue over SCoP’s at Brine 0oC for GSHP