2009 SEDBUK rating “too confusing” says Worcester

Boiler manufacturer Worcester Bosch believes that the new SEDBUK 2009 ratings are causing unnecessary confusion in the domestic heating market and risk alienating consumers.

2009 SEDBUK rating 'too confusing' says Worcester

The warning, from Worcester, Bosch Group, comes in the wake of the Building Research Establishment’s clampdown on what it believes to be misleading boiler manufacturer efficiency claims.

The new 2009 ratings, introduced on 1st October 2010, have capped the efficiency figure a manufacturer can use to promote its product, in effect reducing the figure by approximately 2%. This means that a boiler that has received 90.5%, Band A figure under SEDBUK 2005, is now reduced to around 88.5-88.8% under SEDBUK 2009.

“The BRE has ignored the fact that it isn’t the boiler manufacturer which calculates the percentage efficiencies, it is the Test House or notified body used,” says Martyn Bridges, director of marketing and technical support at Worcester, Bosch Group.

He says that all the facts and the uncertainty of measurement were pointed out to the BRE some 10 or 11 years ago when SEDBUK was introduced. “We have managed with this scheme – with all its faults – since 1999 and consumers now understand it, particularly as it is similar to the labelling of fridges and freezers, for example.”

SEDBUK bandings have also been changed. The bands, currently A, B, C, D and E, which have become the standard benchmarks recognised by the industry and consumers have also been dropped in favour of quoting the new SEDBUK 2009 percentage figure instead.

“At a stroke, the BRE has discarded more than ten years of consumer education, causing unnecessary confusion in the marketplace, particularly in light of the fact that boiler ratings will have to change anyway when the EuP Directive comes into force in two years’ time.”

About Fiona Russell-Horne

Group Managing Editor across the BMJ portfolio.

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