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SEDBUK Banding Dropped in Changes to Building Regulations

By Rob Hull on September 28, 2010

As of the 1st October 2010, Part L of the Building Regulations is set to change in a bid to improve the energy efficiency of new homes in the UK. Over recent years, considerable attention has been paid to the efficiency of central heating boilers in order to meet the Government’s carbon emission targets. Schemes such as the boiler scrappage scheme, which was introduced earlier this year, have encouraged homeowners to replace their old energy inefficient boilers with SEDBUK Band A alternatives, however, as a result of the changes to the Building Regulations, use of the SEDBUK rating is set to be discontinued.

In implementation of the Energy using Products Directive (EuP), the Domestic Building Service Compliance Guide that accompanies Part L advises that SEDBUK Bands A and B will be dropped from the 1st October 2010 in favour of percentile efficiency ratings.

The move is significant in that only two types of minimum efficiency ratings can be used once the changes come into force: 90 per cent on the SEDBUK 2005 list or 88 per cent on the SEDBUK 2009 list.

The principal difference between the SEDBUK 2005 and 2009 lists is that the latter incorporates summer and winter seasonal efficiency rather than being calculated at one point in the year.

Consequently, the 2009 list reduces the overall efficiency rating of a boiler by as much as 2 per cent; therefore, a Band A boiler may be 90.1 per cent efficient under SEDBUK 2005 or 88.1 per cent under SEDBUK 2009. SEDBUK 2005 acts as the default list where 2009 is not stated by the boiler manufacturer.

Switching from SEDBUK Band A or Band B to a minimum energy efficiency percentage may appear to be a cosmetic change to Part L of the Building Regulations, but it is expected to simplify the advertising of such ratings by bringing them in line with those used for fridges and washing machines.

In effect, all boilers, as of the 1st October 2010, must be at least 90 per cent (SEDBUK 2005) or 88 per cent (SEDBUK 2009) efficient, however, SEDBUK Band B (2005) boilers can still be installed in properties where building work began before the 1st October or where a contract for work has already been agreed, providing that the installations are completed by 6th April 2011.

In a separate change, domestic hot water storage vessels will be subject to efficiency improvements of at least 10 per cent in order to reduce standing losses and associated carbon emissions.