Don’t believe everything you hear. The next stage of the ErP Direcve does not spell the end for gas atmospheric water heaters, says David Pepper, Business Development Manager at boiler, water heater and heat pump company Lochinvar.

e may be on the brink of leaving the EU, but it is likely that European legislation will continue to have a profound impact on our markets for many years to come.

The next phase of the EU’s Energy-related Products Directive (ErP), which comes into force on September 27 this year, will be firmly written into the UK heating industry’s standards long before the Brexit transition period ends in 2020. That is clear enough, but as with previous phases of this directive, the looming deadline has created some misunderstandings and unnecessary confusion. The major implications of the 2018 changes to the ErP for the UK market are new restrictions on emissions. From this month (September), all new commercial gas boilers and water heaters will have to meet a maximum nitric oxide and nitrogen dioxide (collectively classified as NOx) emission level of 56mg/kWh.

This will apply to natural gas and LPG water heaters and new boilers up to and including 400kW on both new build and replacement projects.

Cleaner air

There is a further tightening of energy efficiency targets from the last phase of the directive that came into force during September 2015, but the vast majority of heating appliances on the UK market already meet these new requirements. The main thrust of the legislators’ work this time is to get the industry to do its bit to reduce the amount of NOx particulates going into the air.

NOx is a major contributor to indoor and outdoor pollution and is a by-product of combustion generated by transport and heating. The MPs who form the parliamentary Environmental Audit Committee want changes made to the National Planning Policy Framework and new guidance to ensure local authorities set air quality targets before granting planning permission for new schools, hospitals and clinics. Gas-fired water heaters are now being made subject to emissions limits for the first time and one of the biggest misunderstandings is that all atmospheric or non-condensing water heaters will be banned from September as a result of the ErP changes. This is simply not true. The industry is gradually transitioning to condensing technology for reasons of energy efficiency so that, in time, non-condensing models will be phased out, but this will not happen on September 27th. It will still be possible to comply with the new ErP requirements using atmospheric technology and, in a number of cases, that will be a user’s best option. Condensing water heaters provide the highest levels of efficiency, and they are well within the maximum NOx emission levels so Lochinvar will offer this option wherever practical and possible.

However, it is important to recognise that it is not always practical or cost-effective for an end user to switch over to condensing immediately because that can involve extensive system modifications – and, specifically, the installation of a new flue arrangement.

Most water heater replacements are distress purchases,

uLochinvar water heaters: it is important that the industry connues to steer people towards higher eciency systems wherever possible.

which means that the primary, and sometimes only, concern for many end users is to get the building’s hot water supply up and running again as quickly as possible. Their best long-term solution for them will be to switch from atmospheric to higher efficiency condensing water heater alternatives, but they may not have the time or the budget for the additional installation work that may be required, while waiting for their hot water supply to be restored.

Good news

For owners and managers of hot-water-intensive buildings and facilities, like hospitals, hotels and leisure centres, the prospect of a prolonged period without hot water is extremely serious. The good news is that they can still have atmospheric water heater replacements after September 27th – so long as they select one that meets the ErP emissions target. It is important that the industry continues to steer people towards higher efficiency systems wherever possible. At the same time, we also have a responsibility to give clients a choice so their businesses are not undermined in the short-term. As users are transitioning to a new generation of condensing water heating systems, we – as an industry – need to continue to promote the best-performing atmospheric technology and address any misinformation about ErP.

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9  

9  

9 

9  

9  

  

For owners and managers of hotwaterintensive buildings and facilies… the good news is that they can sll have atmospheric water heater replacements aer September 27th – so long as they select one that meets the ErP emissions target.

Adversing: 01622 699116 Editorial: 01354 461430

ADDRESSING THE MYTHS ABOUT ERP It’s not the end for gas atmospheric water heaters




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