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New Low NOx Legislation: What Does it Mean for Homeowners?


On 26th September 2018 a new legislation comes into place with strict restrictions on NOx emissions from domestic boilers manufactured and installed across the UK and Europe.

This legislation has been set by the Energy related Products (ErP) Directive, and will have an impact on space heaters, which includes oil-fired boilers, gas boilers and LPG boilers up to and including a size of 400kW.

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When the legislation begins, appliances won’t be allowed to exceed the maximum NOx emissions:

  • 56mg/Kwh for gas and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) boilers
  • 120mg/kWh for oil-fired boilers

If they do exceed the above levels then the unit simply won’t make it to market.

This is a move towards reducing pollution and improving the air quality and will help lower your energy bills too.

What Do I Have to Do as a Homeowner?

This new legislation doesn’t have any direct impact on you as a homeowner but if you’re planning to purchase a new boiler before the ruling comes into play, ensure that it meets the above standards.

The good news is that there won’t be a dramatic change in the boilers available on the market as the vast majority already meet the requirements.

What is the ErP Directive?

The ErP has been introduced as part of the European Union’s commitment to ensuring that only the most efficient products can be installed. The EU is aiming to hit the following energy efficiency targets by 2020:

  • Reduce energy consumption by 20%
  • Increase the share of renewable energies by 20%

This ruling follows the ErP regulations that came about in September 2015 to increase the efficiency of water and space heaters. Energy labels have also been introduced to make it clear just how efficient an appliance is. The upcoming changes are different in the sense that they aim to reduce emissions rather than increase efficiency.

These legislations will mean that only boilers with high efficiency and low NOx emissions will be manufactured and installed across the UK and Europe. Find out more about the Energy related Products Directive with our guide.

What are NOx Emissions?

We’ve spoken a lot about NOx emissions but what exactly are they?

Short for Nitrogen Oxide, NOx emissions are a group of poisonous, highly reactive gases that form when fuel is burned at high temperatures. NOx is often visible as a brownish gas and the emissions are connected to combustion temperatures, higher temperature the more NOx emissions. Levels of NOx emissions from boilers are being better managed by improved burner design and this new legislation helps to make boilers much more efficient and environmentally friendly.

As well as boilers, NOx pollution is emitted by automobiles, trucks, construction equipment, boats, and anywhere fuel is burned at high temperatures.

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