The addition of mandatory individual room temperature controls to the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD) has been welcomed by heating and hot water specialists Worcester Bosch.
The revision requires individual room temperature controls, such as thermostatic radiator valves (TRVs), to be installed during the construction of new buildings, or when boilers are replaced.
Martyn Bridges, Worcester Bosch’s director of technical communication and product management, says: “Thermostatic radiator valves (TRVs) are highly effective at improving heating efficiency and comfort in the home. This has long been known by many installers in the UK but has only recently been acknowledged in this legislation despite being overlooked in the Boiler Plus scheme.
“Many installers already opt for this type of temperature control as a common method of improving energy efficiency in the home, with the 2014 English Housing Survey Energy Report revealing that 76% of homes with gas central heating had either a full system or at least a partial system of TRVs.
“Using individual heating controls in conjunction with room thermostats offers individual room comfort while still providing a boiler interlock from the room thermostat sited in a location that should offer an overall mean temperature of the house.
“TRVs are far more sophisticated, creating heating zones and supplying a controlled level of heating to suit individual rooms. By making their installation a legal requirement, thousands more homes across the UK can now benefit from the energy efficiency and cost savings that they provide.
According to the EPBD, individual room controls need only be installed ‘where technically, economically and functionally feasible’.
“Given that TRVs are fairly inexpensive, have a fast payback period and, in most cases, can be easily installed onto existing radiators, I can foresee them becoming a requirement for most installations moving forwards,” Bridges says.
The benefits of TRVs are enhanced further when paired with smart controls, which allow users to easily monitor and control a household’s heating and hot water. The new Bosch EasyControl, for example, can control heating and hot water from any external location with a web connection, via an app, to provide maximum comfort and energy efficiency. When paired with two or more Smart TRVs, the control offers a 5% uplift in efficiency, thus meeting the conditions of the Energy-related Products (ErP) Directive.
“Although TRVs are not an entirely new solution for most installers, now is the time to ensure that they are not overlooked,” Martyn says. “By making it a legal requirement, this not only validates best practice, but also ensures that TRVs are considered for all new and replacement boiler scenarios.”